Social Explanation: Structures, Stories, and Ontology. A Reply to Díaz León, Saul, and Sterken

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Abstract

In response to commentaries by Esa Díaz León, Jennifer Saul, and Ra- chel Sterken, I develop more fully my views on the role of structure in social and metaphysical explanation. Although I believe that social agency, quite generally, occurs within practices and structures, the relevance of structure depends on the sort of questions we are asking and what interventions we are considering. The emphasis on questions is also relevant in considering metaphysical and meta-metaphysical is- sues about realism with respect to gender and race. I aim to demon- strate that tools we develop in the context of critical social theory can change the questions we ask, what forms of explanation are called for, and how we do philosophy.

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