Informations and abstract
Keywords: Epstein; social ontology; metaphysics; grounding; law.
The essay analyses the contribution of contemporary analytical metaphysics to social and legal ontology. In particular, the focus is on two authors: Brian Epstein and Jonathan Schaffer. I discuss Epstein’s use of analytical metaphysics notions to explain the structure of social kinds and facts, providing a unique model based on three relations: grounding, anchoring, and framing (GAF). This model offers a new reading of the origin and nature of social entities and brings innovative arguments to the debate in legal ontology. Schaffer’s views represent a competing thesis, which can be included among the so-called conjunctivist theories. Epstein and Schaffer’s analyses converge in some respects and both theories approach social and legal ontology with new, fine-grained tools. However, I defend the epistemic and practical value of Epstein’s model. At the same time, I claim that it would bring more clarity to Epstein’s model if the framing relation was rejected. For this reason, I suggest considering a social reality model relying on the grounding-anchoring diagram alone