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Faculty of Economics

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Lawson, T. and Arena, R.


Cambridge Journal of Economics

Vol. 39(4) (2015)

Abstract: Ontology, the study of being, the assessment of the nature of reality, is unavoidable. Every time we utilise, or react to, something, we consider that something according to its nature, whether it be a car, bull, mouse, snake, pencil, chair, mirror or river. Focussing on science, the question is not whether ontological reasoning occurs (of course it does) but whether it figures in a manner that is largely implicit and unacknowledged or explicit and systematic. In the non-social sciences it is frequently the latter. Einstein and Bohr continually debated the nature of the quantum. Today it is the nature of dark matter, black holes and Higgs boson fields that captivate. The electronic accelerator at CERN was constructed with the goal of addressing a series of pressing ontological puzzles and questions.

Author links: Tony Lawson  

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