chapter  3
13 Pages

A new ontology of personhood

Overview This chapter articulates what the concept of causal powers means within a postpositivist, new realist philosophy of science, and why such meta-theoretical clarification is necessary for an adequate theory of dynamic embodiment for the social sciences. Using the work of Harré, Bhaskar and Varela, I apply causal powers theory to a revised ontology of personhood, and discuss why the adequate location of human agency is crucial for the social sciences. Once causal powers and capacities are adequately defined for social actors, we have the appropriate ontological grounding for the move to dynamic embodiment. I show how this requires theoretical enrichment from Williams’s anthropological theory of human movement – semasiology.