Heinrich Rickert’s Axiological Foundation of Social Ontology

Christian Krijnen

Against the background of contemporary meta-theoretical debates in the social sciences, esp. Management and Organization Studies I will analyze the approach of South-West neo-Kantianism towards a social ontology, concentrating on its systematically leading thinker Heinrich Rickert. This analysis, of course, can only be a part of a larger project on the idealist foundations of social ontology and with that of the social sciences. Although, like in the contemporary debate, ontology is closely related to and arises from problems concerning our knowledge of reality, an idealist solution of the ontological problem results in a radically different framework for determining the ontological determinations of the reality which the social sciences explore, in first instance, the most fundamental concept of that reality: the social. What is social reality? First, I will go into the task and the possibility of a philosophy of reality, its logical foundation and the type of philosophy of reality relevant for determining the concept of the social. Then, the concept of the social will be determined as far as its beginnings are concerned. Finally, I will point out to some problems connected to the sketched approach.


Keywords: neo-Kantianism · social ontology · epistemology · methodology of science

Christian Krijnen — Professor of Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and Tilburg University, specialist in the field of philosophy of culture, neo-Kantianism, metaphysics, philosophy of economics and philosophy of management and organizations.   »  

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