Nominalism, supervenience and methodological individualism

di Francesco di Iorio

This article analyzes the relationship between methodological individualism and nominalism in the light of the most recent debates on this topic. It is argued, contrary to Mario Bunge and Brian Epstein, that as an approach committed to a nominalist ontology, methodological individualism is compatible with a non-reductionist theory of the social world. According to this article, the incompatibility thesis stems from a confusion between ontological anti-substantialism and linguistic or semantic reductionism. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between supervenience, a nominalist theory of the social world developed and widely discussed in analytic philosophy in recent decades, and methodological individualism.

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