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Social Ontology

Edited by (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)
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Summary Social ontology studies the metaphysics of social phenomena. Topics include the nature of groups, collective action, and social construction. Social metaphysics is important for other areas of philosophy, including critical feminist and race theory, moral collective responsibility, and action theory.
Key works An early and prominent account of social construction can be found in Searle 1995, and a highly influential discussion of social construction is contained in Haslanger 2012. Accounts of collective action are in Gilbert 1989 and Tuomela 1995. A recent and important general metaphysics of the social world is presented in Epstein 2015.
Introductions

Haslanger 2000Tuomela 2005Epstein 2019.

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  1. Metaphors of Intersectionality: Framing the Debate with a New Image.Maria Rodó-Zárate & Marta Jorba - 2020 - European Journal of Women's Studies.
    Whereas intersectionality presents a fruitful framework for theoretical and empirical research, some of its fundamental features present great confusion. The term ‘intersectionality’ and its metaphor of the crossroads seem to reproduce what it aims to avoid: conceiving categories as separate. Despite the attempts for developing new metaphors that illustrate the mutual constitution relation among categories, gender, race or class keep being imagined as discrete units that intersect, mix or combine. Here we identify two main problems in metaphors: the lack of (...)
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  2. Ontology, Experience, and Social Death: On Frank Wilderson's Afropessimism.Patrick Donnell - forthcoming - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience.
    This is a long critical discussion of Frank Wilderson's Afropessimism, focusing primarily on Wilderson's claim that Blackness is equivalent to Slaveness. The article draws out some strengths of the book, but argues that the book's central arguments often rest on shaky methodological, metaphysical, epistemic, and political grounds. Along the way, we consider some complications endemic to the project of evaluating a text so clearly geared towards Black audiences from the perspective of a non-Black reader.
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  3. Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  4. Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories, by Ásta. [REVIEW]Elizabeth Barnes & Matthew Andler - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):939-947.
    Categories We Live by: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories, by Ásta. Oxford: OUP, 2018. Pp. 160.
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  5. What Makes a Kind an Art-Kind?Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics:ayaa027.
    The premise that every work belongs to an art-kind has recently inspired a kind-centred approach to theories of art. Kind-centred analyses posit that we should abandon the project of giving a general theory of art and focus instead on giving theories of the arts. The main difficulty, however, is to explain what makes a given kind an art-kind in the first place. Kind-centred theorists have passed this buck on to appreciative practices, but this move proves unsatisfactory. I argue that the (...)
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  6. The Metaphysics of Legal Organisations.Rachael Mellin - 2020 - In Raimo Tuomela & Rachael Mellin (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin, Germany: pp. 159-178.
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  7. Disagreement About the Kind Law.Muhammad Ali Khalidi & Liam Murphy - forthcoming - Jurisprudence:1-16.
    This paper argues that the disagreement between positivists and nonpositivists about law is substantive rather than merely verbal, but that the depth and persistence of the disagreement about law, unlike for the case of morality, threatens skepticism about law. The range of considerations that can be brought to bear to help resolve moral disagreements is broader than is the case for law, thus improving the prospects of reconciliation in morality. But the central argument of the paper is that law, unlike (...)
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  8. Corona E Communis: Imunidade, Comunidade E o COVID-19.Maurício Fernando Pitta - 2020 - Voluntas: Revista Internacional de Filosofia 11:e32.
    Diante da pandemia do Novo Coronavírus, muitos foram os problemas levantados pela filosofia a partir do modo “imunitário” com o qual a civilização industrial lidou com a crise, e muito tem sido aventado sobre a necessidade de se repensar o sentido da noção de comunidades de apoio e de resistência. Exemplos disso não faltam; dentre os filósofos que abordaram a crise, encontram-se desde Giorgio Agamben a Paul B. Preciado, entre outros. Neste artigo, pretendemos partir da discussão sobre imunologia e paradigma (...)
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  9. Unplanned Coordination: Ensemble Improvisation as Collective Action.Ali Hasan & Jennifer Kayle - manuscript
    The characteristic features of ensemble dance improvisation (“EDI”) make it an interesting case for theories of intentional collective action. These features include the high degree of freedom enjoyed by each individual, and the lack of fixed or hierarchical roles, rigid decision procedures, or detailed plans. In this article, we present a “reductive” approach to collective action, apply it to EDI, and show how the theory enriches our perspective on this practice. We show, with the help of our theory of collective (...)
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  10. Social Ontology. Emotional Sharing as the Foundation of Care Relationships.Guido Cusinato - 2018 - In S. Bourgault & E. Pulcini, Emotions and Care: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Peeters.
    Scheler’s theory that emotional sharing underlies social ontology, which was already presented in the first edition of Sympathiebuch in 1913, made a comeback in Formalismus. Sharing one’s feelings and emotions is the reason behind various “forms of being-with-one-another [Miteinandersein] and co-living-with-one-another [Miteinaderleben], in which the corresponding forms of social unit constitute themselves” [GW II, 515, my translation]. Scheler thus lays the foundation for a general theory of social ontology: There is a theory of all the possible social essential units [Wesenseinheiten]. (...)
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  11. КАТЕГОРИИ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ИНТЕГРАЦИИ И ДИФФЕРЕНЦИАЦИИ В КАТЕГОРИАЛЬНОМ АППАРАТЕ ФИЛОСОФИИ ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ.Sophia Polyankina - 2013 - Вестник Пермского Университета 2 (14):66-74.
    Рассмотрены процессуальные категории социальной интеграции и дифференциации применительно к описанию эволюции отечественной образовательной системы и выявлена их диалектическая взаимосвязь. Показано место исследуемых понятий среди таких философских категорий, как «единичное –особенное – множественное», «единое – множество», «целостность – фрагментарность», «универсальность – партикулярность». Образование понимается в первую очередь как система, развитию которой присущи тенденции интеграции и дифференциации на различных ее уровнях, что позволяет объединить социально-функциональный и философско-антропологичский взгляды на онтологическую сущность и цели образования.
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  12. On Credentials.Barry Smith, Olimpia Giuliana Loddo & Giuseppe Lorini - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6.
    Credentials play an important role in all modern societies, but the analysis of their nature and function has thus far been neglected by social philosophers. We present a view according to which the function of credentials is certify the identity and the institutional status (including the rights) of individuals. More importantly, credentials enable rights-holders to exercise their rights, so that for a particular right to be exercisable the right-holder should possess, carry and sometimes show to an authority (or QR code (...)
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  13. Explaining Ideology: Mechanisms and Metaphysics.Matteo Bianchin - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (4):313-337.
    Ideology is commonly defined along functional, epistemic, and genetic dimensions. This article advances a reasonably unified account that specifies how they connect and locates the mechanisms at work. I frame the account along a recent distinction between anchoring and grounding, endorse an etiological reading of functional explanations, and draw on current work about the epistemology of delusion, looping effects, and structuring causes to explain how ideologies originate, reproduce, and possibly collapse. This eventually allows articulating how the legitimating function of ideologies (...)
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  14. Social Creationism and Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2018 - In Kendy Hess, Violetta Igneski & Tracy Isaacs (eds.), Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice. London, UK: pp. 13-34.
    Social groups seem to be entities that are dependent on us. Given their apparent dependence, one might adopt Social Creationism—the thesis that all social groups are social objects created through (some specific types of) thoughts, intentions, agreements, habits, patterns of interaction, and practices. Here I argue that not all social groups come to be in the same way. This is due, in part, to social groups failing to share a uniform nature. I argue that some groups (e.g., racial and gender (...)
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  15. Social Ontology.Rebecca Mason & Katherine Ritchie - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics.
    Traditionally, social entities (i.e., social properties, facts, kinds, groups, institutions, and structures) have not fallen within the purview of mainstream metaphysics. In this chapter, we consider whether the exclusion of social entities from mainstream metaphysics is philosophically warranted or if it instead rests on historical accident or bias. We examine three ways one might attempt to justify excluding social metaphysics from the domain of metaphysical inquiry and argue that each fails. Thus, we conclude that social entities are not justifiably excluded (...)
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  16. Two theories of group agency.David Strohmaier - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1901-1918.
    Two theories dominate the current debate on group agency: functionalism, as endorsed by Bryce Huebner and Brian Epstein, and interpretivism, as defended by Deborah Tollefsen, and Christian List and Philip Pettit. In this paper, I will give a new argument to favour functionalism over interpretivism. I discuss a class of cases which the former, but not the latter, can accommodate. Two features characterise this class: First, distinct groups coincide, that is numerically distinct groups share all their members at all time. (...)
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  17. Instituutioiden olemassaolosta eli filosofinen saunailta Searlen ja Hegelin seurassa.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2005 - In Jussi Kotkavirta (ed.), Muoto ja metodi. pp. 163-173.
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  18. Proprietary Reasons and Joint Action.Abraham Roth - forthcoming - In A. Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency.
    Some of the reasons one acts on in joint action are shared with fellow participants. But others are proprietary: reasons of one’s own that have no direct practical significance for other participants. The compatibility of joint action with proprietary reasons serves to distinguish the former from other forms of collective agency; moreover, it is arguably a desirable feature of joint action. Advocates of “team reasoning” link the special collective intention individual participants have when acting together with a distinctive form of (...)
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  19. On the Nature of Social and Institutional Reality.Heikki Ikäheimo, Eerik Lagerspetz & Jussi Kotkavirta (eds.) - 2001 - SoPhi.
    What is the nature of the social reality? How do the major social institutions like money or law exist? What are the limits of individualistically-oriented social theories?These and related problems are intensely discussed in philosophy, in legal theory and in the methodology of social sciences. This collection brings together the different traditions of the contemporary discussion. It includes thought-provoking articles by John Searle, Margaret Gilbert, Ota Weinberger, Raimo Tuomela, Eerik Lagerspetz, Michael Quante, Cristina Redondo and Paolo Comanducci. -/- ”Wonderful selection (...)
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  20. Ethical Perfectionism in Social Ontology - a Hegelian Alternative.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2016 - In Italo Testa & Luigi Ruggiu (eds.), "I that is We, We that is I" Perspectives on Contemporary Hegelianism. pp. 49-67.
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  21. Recognition, Identity, and Subjectivity.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2017 - In Michael J. Thompson (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory. pp. 567-585.
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  22. Историческата приемственост в глобализиращото догонване (Historical Continuity in Globalizing Overtaking).Vasil Penchev - 2009 - Sofia: Acdemic Publishing House.
    Книгата "Историческата приемственост в глобализиращото догонване" е посветена на осмислянето на догонващото развитие на основата lIа историческата приемственост. Основа на разглеждането са историко-философските възгледи на Мартин Хайдегер, като акцентът е pреместен от екзистенциалността, съответно екзистенциала на Грижата, върху историчността и съответно върху Съдбата, разбирана посредством Избора . Същностно е разглеждането както на понятието, така и на историческия екзистенциал за Историческо време. Последното не съвпада с природното, тъй като е неравномерно, нехомогенно, притежава сложна вътрешна структура, може да се разглежда съсредоточено в (...)
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  23. Историята на СССР.Vasil Penchev - 2008 - Sofia: BAS: IPhR (IPS).
    The book is a philosophical reflection on the history of the USSR based on the civilization approach. It is interpreted in terms of Ortodox civilzation rather than in terms of the marxist philosophy of history. "Long-run" civiliaztion dominants of Orthodox Christianity determines the "Soviet period" in th Orthodox "longue durée". This philosophical viewpoint leads to a radical reinterpretation of the history of the USSR ...
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  24. Математизирането на историята: число и битие.Vasil Penchev - 2013 - Sofia: BAS: ISSk (IPR).
    The book is a philosophical refection on the possibility of mathematical history. Are poosible models of historical phenomena so exact as those of physical ones? Mathematical models borrowed from quantum mechanics by the meditation of its interpretations are accomodated to history. The conjecture of many-variant history, alternative history, or counterfactual history is necessary for mathematical history. Conclusions about philosophy of history are inferred.
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  25. Understanding Race: The Case for Political Constructionism in Public Discourse.David Ludwig - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):492-504.
    The aim of this article is to develop an understanding-based argument for an explicitly political specification of the concept of race. It is argued that a specification of race in terms of hierarchical social positions is best equipped to guide causal reasoning about racial inequality in the public sphere. Furthermore, the article provides evidence that biological and cultural specifications of race mislead public reasoning by encouraging confusions between correlates and causes of racial inequality. The article concludes with a more general (...)
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  26. Comments on Roversi 'Acting Within and Outside an Institution'.Filip Buekens, Michaël Bauwens & Lode Cossaer - 2015 - Methode: Analytic Perspectives 4 (6):213-221.
    In his stimulating contribution, Corrado Roversi uses speech act theory to propose a more nuanced and shaded account of how agents can relate themselves to institutions than H. Hart’s binary distinction between the internal and external point of view. Although we agree on the central importance of Hart in charting recent work in social ontology, we propose to recast Roversi’s contribution in terms of the various ways in which an agent’s commitment to an institution can corrode or strengthen an institution. (...)
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  27. Beyond the "Logic of Purity": "Post-Post-Intersectional" Glimpses in Decolonial Feminism.Anna Carastathis - 2019 - In Pedro DiPietro, Jennifer McWeeny & Shireen Roshanravan (eds.), Speaking Face to Face/Hablando Cara a Cara: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones. New York, NY, USA:
    This chapter examines María Lugones’s germane and insightful attempt to theorize “intermeshed oppressions,” which, she argues, have been (mis)represented in women of color feminisms by the concepts of “interlocking systems of oppression” and, more recently, “intersectionality.” The latter, intersectionality, introduced by Black feminist legal scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw as a metaphor (1989) and as a “provisional concept” (1991), has become the predominant way of referencing the mutual constitution of what have been theorized as multiple systems of oppression, constructing the multiplicity (...)
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  28. Circularity in Searle’s Social Ontology: With a Hegelian Reply.José Luis Fernández - 2020 - International Journal of Society, Culture and Language 8 (1):16-24.
    John Searle’s theory of social ontology posits that there are indispensable normative components in the linguistic apparatuses termed status functions, collective intentionality, and collective recognition, all of which, he argues, make the social world. In this paper, I argue that these building blocks of Searle’s social ontology are caught in a petitio of constitutive circularity. Moreover, I note how Searle fails to observe language in reciprocal relation to the institutions which not only are shaped by it but also shape language’s (...)
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  29. Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):402-424.
    Social groups—like teams, committees, gender groups, and racial groups—play a central role in our lives and in philosophical inquiry. Here I develop and motivate a structuralist ontology of social groups centered on social structures (i.e., networks of relations that are constitutively dependent on social factors). The view delivers a picture that encompasses a diverse range of social groups, while maintaining important metaphysical and normative distinctions between groups of different kinds. It also meets the constraint that not every arbitrary collection of (...)
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  30. Legitimacy and Institutional Purpose.N. P. Adams - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (3):292-310.
    Institutions undertake a huge variety of constitutive purposes. One of the roles of legitimacy is to protect and promote an institution’s pursuit of its purpose; state legitimacy is generally understood as the right to rule, for example. When considering legitimacy beyond the state, we have to take account of how differences in purposes change legitimacy. I focus in particular on how differences in purpose matter for the stringency of the standards that an institution must meet in order to be legitimate. (...)
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  31. The Theory of Two Sciences: Bourgeois and Proletarian Science.Agustin Ostachuk - 2015 - Revista Iberoamericana de Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad 10 (Suppl 1):191-194.
    What is the relation between science and ideology? Are they incompatible, complementary or the same thing? Should science avoid “contamination” from ideology? Is there an only way to do science? Does anyone of them lead to the same results and give us the same worldview? We will focus on the figure of Alexander Bogdanov, Russian physician and philosopher, in order to discuss these and other relevant topics. His theories gave birth to what may be called later “the theory of two (...)
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  32. Levinas and the question of politics.Robert Froese - 2020 - Contemporary Political Theory 19 (1):1-19.
    Recent political critiques and appropriations of Emmanuel Levinas’ work demonstrate the need to fundamentally re-evaluate the meaning and status of his philosophy. Both the Marxist critiques and ‘third wave’ applications interpret Levinas’ singular and unique relation to others—a bond which prohibits even the slightest trace of historical, hermeneutic, or political context—as the greatest obstacle to a Levinasian politics. From this standpoint, Levinas offers little more than a hyperbolic ethics that, at best, ignores, and, at worst, provides philosophical cover for, the (...)
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  33. Biko on Non-White and Black: Improving Social Reality.Brian Epstein - 2018 - In George Hull (ed.), Debating African Philosophy: Perspectives on Identity, Decolonial Ethics and Comparative Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 97-117.
    This paper examines Steve Biko’s distinction between black and non-white as a project in the “amelioration” of social concepts and categories. Biko himself—it has been persuasively argued by Mabogo More and Lewis Gordon—writes in the tradition of existential phenomenology. More and Gordon explore Biko’s continuity with Frantz Fanon, and in this paper I draw on their interpretations, attempting to complement and elaborate on these continuities. I also, however, attempt to show how Biko moves beyond Fanon in crucial ways, solving problems (...)
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  34. The Logic of Social Practices.Raffaela Giovagnoli (ed.) - 2020 - Cham: Springer.
    This book reports on cutting edge research concerning social practices. Merging perspectives from various disciplines, it discusses theoretical aspects of social behavior along with models to investigate them, and also presents key case studies. Further, it describes concepts related to habits, routines and rituals and examines important features of human action such as intentionality and choice, exploring the influence of specific social practices in different situations.
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  35. The Evolution of Social Contracts.Michael Vlerick - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):181-203.
    Influential thinkers such as Young, Sugden, Binmore, and Skyrms have developed game-theoretic accounts of the emergence, persistence and evolution of social contracts. Social contracts are sets of commonly understood rules that govern cooperative social interaction within societies. These naturalistic accounts provide us with valuable and important insights into the foundations of human societies. However, current naturalistic theories focus mainly on how social contracts solve coordination problems in which the interests of the individual participants are aligned, not competition problems in which (...)
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  36. Interpersonal Obligation in Joint Action.Abraham Roth - 2018 - In Marija Jankovic & Kirk Ludwig (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality. New York: Routledge. pp. 45-57.
  37. Social Ontology, Normativity and Law.Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.) - 2020 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    This volume contains the proceedings of the Social Ontology, Normativity, and Philosophy of Law conference, which took place on May 30–31, 2019 at the University of Glasgow. At the invitation of the Social Ontology Research Group, a panel of prominent scholars shed light on a range of key topics within social ontology, normativity, and philosophy of law from an interdisciplinary perspective.
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  38. Of Layers and Lawyers.Michael Schmitz - forthcoming - In Miguel Garcia, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Philosophy of Law. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    How can the law be characterized in a theory of collective intentionality that treats collective intentionality as essentially layered and tries to understand these layers in terms of the structure and the format of the representations involved? And can such a theory of collective intentionality open up new perspectives on the law and shed new light on traditional questions of legal philosophy? As a philosopher of collective intentionality who is new to legal philosophy, I want to begin exploring these questions (...)
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  39. Restoring Constitution: Saving Performativity From Mäki’s Critique.Mickey Peled - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (1):51-65.
    ABSTRACTThis paper aims to solve a fundamental critique of the research project of the performativity of economics. The critique by philosopher Uskali Mäki strikes the concept of performativity in...
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  40. Review of What Is Rape? Social Theory and Conceptual Analysis by Hilkje Charlotte Hänel. [REVIEW]Caleb Ward - 2019 - Apa Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 19 (1):38-40.
  41. Social Objects.Barry Smith - 1999 - Philosophiques 26 (2):315-347.
    One reason for the renewed interest in Austrian philosophy, and especially in the work of Brentano and his followers, turns on the fact that analytic philosophers have become once again interested in the traditional problems of metaphysics. It was Brentano, Husserl, and the philosophers and psychologists whom they influenced, who drew attention to the thorny problem of intentionality, the problem of giving an account of the relation between acts and objects or, more generally, between the psychological environments of cognitive subjects (...)
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  42. Social Revolution and Ontological Project.Alex V. Halapsis - 2006 - Granì 45 (1):63-68.
    Social conflict is an indispensable attribute of historical being. The accumulation of a critical charge in society, expressed in the conflict between creator and manager (intellectual and ruler), which also resonates among the average person, leads to a general radicalization of public sentiment, which is fraught with a social revolution. In its course, the political counter-elite is transformed into a revolutionary elite, which takes over the leadership of the revolutionary process. Revolution is one of the options for resolving social conflicts. (...)
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  43. Direct and Indirect Acts of Stigmatization.Jennifer Gleason - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (1):53-76.
    When considering the impact of stigmatization on society, we tend to think of one aspect of stigmatization while ignoring another. Drawing from historical and fictional cases, I argue that acts of stigmatization can be direct or indirect. Acts of direct stigmatization are acts taken by individuals or groups against an entity, while acts of indirect stigmatization are the specific acts taken by potential targets of stigmatization to prevent themselves from becoming victims of direct stigmatization. If we want a full understanding (...)
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  44. Putnam's Naturalism and Realism Extended to Social Systems and Nonclassical Mereology.James Goetz - manuscript
    Putnam proposed liberal naturalism and metaphysical realism that extends to normative judgments and coheres with the principle of bivalence. This paper extends Putnam's naturalism and realism to a model of social systems ranging from jawless vertebrates to legal systems while the systems exhibit nonclassical mereology. The model defines types of entities and material, and focuses on natural interactions that cause organization, the dynamics of scientific entities, and the composition of social groups which includes communication and the emergence of synergy.
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  45. Ontological-Transcendental Defence of Metanormative Realism.Michael Kowalik - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):573-586.
    If there is something that every possible agent is committed to value, and certain actions or attitudes either enhance or diminish P, then normative claims about a range of intentional actions can be objectively and non-trivially evaluated. I argue that the degree of existence as an agent depends on the consistency of reflexive-relating with other individuals of the agent-kind: the ontological thesis. I then show that in intending to act on a reason, every agent is rationally committed to value being (...)
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  46. How Groups Persist.August Faller - 2019 - Synthese:1-15.
    How do groups of people persist through time? Groups can change their members, locations, and structure. In this paper, I present puzzles of persistence applied to social groups. I first argue that four-dimensional theories better explain the context sensitivity of how groups persist. I then exploit two unique features of the social to argue for the stage theory of group persistence in particular. First, fusion and fission cases actually happen to social groups, and so cannot be marginalized as “pathological.” Second, (...)
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  47. Violence and the Materiality of Power.Torsten Menge - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
    The issue of political violence is mostly absent from current debates about power. Many conceptions of power treat violence as wholly distinct from or even antithetical to power, or see it as a mere instrument whose effects are obvious and not in need of political analysis. In this paper, I explore what kind of ontology of power is necessary to properly take account of the various roles that violence can play in creating and maintaining power structures. I pursue this question (...)
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  48. Blockchain as a Medium for Transindividual Collective.Juho Rantala - 2019 - Culture, Theory, and Critique 60 (3–4):1–14.
    Today, digitalisation is penetrating every corner of our mundane life, thus affecting our being in manifold ways. In spite of this, digital technologies provide us with paths towards advancing humanity. One way to model the possibilities of the new technologies in a sustainable way is to frame them in light of Gilbert Simondon’s philosophy and especially his understanding of ‘transindividuality’, which is the foundation for a robust, evolving collective. The transindividual relation, mediated by technical objects, is the possibility of a (...)
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  49. Anchoring Versus Grounding: Reply to Schaffer.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):768-781.
    In his insightful and challenging paper, Jonathan Schaffer argues against a distinction I make in The Ant Trap (Epstein 2015) and related articles. I argue that in addition to the widely discussed “grounding” relation, there is a different kind of metaphysical determination I name “anchoring.” Grounding and anchoring are distinct, and both need to be a part of full explanations of how facts are metaphysically determined. Schaffer argues instead that anchoring is a species of grounding. The crux of his argument (...)
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  50. What Are Social Groups? Their Metaphysics and How to Classify Them.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4899-4932.
    This paper presents a systematic approach for analyzing and explaining the nature of social groups. I argue against prominent views that attempt to unify all social groups or to divide them into simple typologies. Instead I argue that social groups are enormously diverse, but show how we can investigate their natures nonetheless. I analyze social groups from a bottom-up perspective, constructing profiles of the metaphysical features of groups of specific kinds. We can characterize any given kind of social group with (...)
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