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Social philosophy

Social philosophy examines questions about the foundations of social institutions, behavior, power structures, and interpretations of society in terms of ethical values rather than empirical relations.[1] Social philosophers emphasize understanding the social contexts for political, legal, moral and cultural questions, and the development of novel theoretical frameworks, from social ontology to care ethics to cosmopolitan theories of democracy, natural law, human rights, gender equity and global justice.[2]


There is often a considerable overlap between the questions addressed by social philosophy and ethics or value theory. Other forms of social philosophy include political philosophy and jurisprudence, which are largely concerned with the societies of state and government and their functioning.

Social philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy all share intimate connections with other disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. In turn, the social sciences themselves are of focal interest to the philosophy of social science.

Social philosophy is broadly interdisciplinary, looking at all of phenomenology, epistemology, and philosophy of language from a sociological perspective; phenomenological sociology, social epistemology and sociology of language respectively.[3][4]

Relevant issues

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Some social philosophy is concerned with identity, and definining strata that categorize society, for example race and gender. Other social philosophy examines agency and free will, and whether people socialized in a particular way are accountable for their actions.[5]

It also looks at the concepts of property, rights, and authority, examining actions in terms of both ethical values and their wider social effect; it applies situational ethics to broader political concepts.

Sociology of language considers communication in the context of social relations, for example speech acts or performative utterances are social actions in themselves.

Other relevant issues considered by social philosophy are:

Social philosophies

Social philosophers

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A list of philosophers that have concerned themselves, although most of them not exclusively, with social philosophy:

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY".
  2. ^ "Overview - Journal of Social Philosophy - Wiley Online Library".
  3. ^ "Social Philosophy". 2023-12-14. Retrieved 2024-04-13.
  4. ^ "Social Philosophy". Cavite State University Main Campus.
  5. ^ "What is social philosophy? - The University of Nottingham". Retrieved 2024-04-13.
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Social philosophy
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