Cambridge social ontology

An interview with Tony Lawson


  • Tony Lawson University of Cambridge, United Kingdom



Tony Lawson, interview, social ontology, philosophy of economics, critical realism, heterodox economics


The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics is very pleased to present this interview with Tony Lawson in which he discusses his work on various issues including social ontology and critical realism in economics, along with the differences that he perceives between his position and those of Uskali Mäki and Nancy Cartwright. We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Lawson about all these issues following his presentation this past spring at the research seminar series at the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE), in Rotterdam.

Author Biography

Tony Lawson, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Tony Lawson (born in Minehead, UK) is a trained mathematician located in the Faculty of Economics at Cambridge University. His work spreads over various fields, but it focuses primarily in the philosophy of social sciences, in particular: social ontology. Amongst his publications are the Routledge monographs Economics and reality (1997) and Reorienting economics (2003). Numerous journal symposia and publications by others have been devoted to his work, most recently Edward Fullbrook’s Ontology and economics: Tony Lawson and his critics (2009).

Lawson’s various activities over the last twenty five years include founding and chairing the Cambridge Realist Workshop and the Cambridge Social Ontology Group and serving as the director of the Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies. He is an editor of the Cambridge Journal of Economics and a member and trustee of the associated Cambridge Political Economy Society. Outside Cambridge, Lawson is a joint founder of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy and a founding member and trustee of the Centre for Critical Realism. He also is the primary instigator of the International Association for Critical Realism. He sits on the editorial boards of numerous international journals including Feminist Economics.




How to Cite

Lawson, T. (2009). Cambridge social ontology: An interview with Tony Lawson. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 2(1), 100–122.