Ontology and the Social Sciences

A Workshop of the Graduate School Loose Connections: Collectivity in digital and urban Space

University of Hamburg
Organization: Christian Helge Peters

10:00-18:00, 16 December, 2017

Venue: Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, 20146 Hamburg, Room: Senatssitzungssaal

In recent works in anthropology, sociology, and political theory ontology takes an important role. Different ontologies open up a new and different understanding of the social. The aim of the workshop is to reflect in greater depth on ontology and to discuss the role, potentials, and problems of ontology in the social sciences. During the workshop scientists from the fields of anthropology, sociology, and political theory will present their thoughts on the relation between ontology and their areas of interest. With the presentations and following discussions it is envisaged to start an interdisciplinary exchange of theories and ideas on ontology.

There are at least four and interrelated key issues that the workshop strives to discuss:

  1. What are the different understandings of the term ontology?
  2. Why is it important to discuss ontological questions in the social sciences?
  3. What can be gained analytically with ontological thinking? What can be understood, analysed, and explained better with ontology?
  4. What are the forthcoming crucial issues in the discussion on ontology?


Martin Holbraad (University College London): Anthropology as ontological Reflexivity Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna): Thinking Antagonism. Toward an Ontology of the Political Christian Helge Peters (University of Hamburg): Ontology in Affect Theories after Gilles Deleuze Robert Seyfert (University of Duisburg-Essen): Intensive Sociology: Analysing Vibrant Social Relations


Participation is free but please register in advance to allow planning. For registration send an email to Christian Helge Peters (ChristianHelge.Peters@wiso.uni-hamburg.de) by 12 December 2017. Please include your name and affiliation (if applicable).