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  1. Towards a Deflationary Truthmakers Account of Social Groups.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    I outline a deflationary truthmakers account of social groups. Potentially, the approach allows us to say, with traditional ontological individualists, that there are only pluralities of individuals out there, ontologically speaking, but that there are nevertheless colloquial and social-scientific truths about social groups. If tenable, this kind of theory has the virtue of being both ontologically parsimonious and compatible with ordinary and social-scientific discourse—a virtue which the stock reductive / ontological dependence accounts of social groups arguably lack.
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  2. Dialogue and Joint Commitment.Maura Priest & Margaret Gilbert - forthcoming - In Les Defis de Collectif.
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  3. Are There Really Social Causes?August Faller - 2023 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 53 (2):83-102.
    This article investigates the causal efficacy of social properties, which faces the following puzzle. First, for both intuitive and scientific reasons, it seems social properties have causal import. But, second, social properties are also characteristically extrinsic: to have some social property depends, in typical cases, on what one’s society is like around them. And, third, there is good reason to doubt that extrinsic properties make a genuine causal contribution. After elaborating on these three claims, I defend the following resolution to (...)
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  4. The Truth about Social Entities.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2023 - In Andrés Garcia, Mattias Gunnemyr & Jakob Werkmäster (eds.), Value, Morality & Social Reality: Essays dedicated to Dan Egonsson, Björn Petersson & Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen. Department of Philosophy, Lund University. pp. 483-497.
  5. Common Ground Between Social Ontology, Conceptual Engineering, and Conceptual Ethics.Jared Oliphint - 2023 - Journal of Social Ontology 9 (1).
    Social objects have become common subjects of interest to both social ontologists and conceptual engineers, but up to this point much of the philosophical work from these two fields has surprisingly been done in isolation from each field. I show how these prolific research fields—social ontology, conceptual engineering, and conceptual ethics—can mutually benefit each other through a unifying model I propose called the 2D-CE model that shows the dependence relations between a given concept, its instantiation conditions, and whatever language represents (...)
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  6. Critical social ontology.Kevin Richardson - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-19.
    Critical social ontology is any study of social ontology that is done in order to critique ideology or end social injustice. The goal of this paper is to outline what I call the fundamentality approach to critical social ontology. On the fundamentality approach, social ontologists are in the business of distinguishing between appearances and (fundamental) reality. Social reality is often obscured by the acceptance of ideology, where an ideology is a distorted system of beliefs that leads people to promote or (...)
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  7. Two approaches to naturalistic social ontology.Matti Sarkia & Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2023 - Synthese 201 (3):1-28.
    Social ontological inquiry has been pursued in analytic philosophy as well as in the social scientific tradition of critical realism. These traditions have remained largely separate despite partly overlapping concerns and similar underlying strategies of argumentation. They have also both been the subject of similar criticisms based on naturalistic approaches to the philosophy of science, which have addressed their apparent reliance on a transcendental mode of reasoning, their seeming distance from social scientific practice, and their (erroneous?) tendency to advocate global (...)
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  8. Substantive Social Metaphysics.Elanor Taylor - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23:1-18.
    Social metaphysics is a source of important philosophical and moral insight. Furthermore, much social metaphysics appears to be substantive. However, some have recently argued that standard views of metaphysics cannot accommodate substantive social metaphysics. In this paper I offer a new diagnosis of this problem and defend a new solution, showing that this problem is an illuminating lens through which to examine the nature and boundaries of metaphysics. This case instantiates a broad, common pattern generated by attempts to align distinctions (...)
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  9. Demarcating the Social World with Hume.Matthew J. Cull - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (1):69-88.
    Where lies the boundary between the natural and social worlds? For the local constructionist, who wants to say that whilst global constructionism is false, nonetheless there remains a domain of soc...
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  10. Parallel Debates: A Methodological Proposal.Itsue Nakaya-Perez - 2022 - Resistances. Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (6):e21096.
    Social ontology focuses on questions about the reality of human categories. The typical examples are gender and race. Common questions about them are: Do they exist? What is their nature? Do they exist in the best possible way? Meanwhile, the philosophy of psychiatry has been discussing the reality of psychopathology, what is the best way to classify mental disorders, and whether it is possible to define them without normative vocabulary. I think there is something not only strange but inadequate about (...)
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  11. A Puzzle for Social Essences.Michael J. Raven - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):128-148.
    The social world contains institutions, groups, objects, and more. This essay explores a puzzle about the essences of social items. There is widespread consensus against social essences because of problematic presuppositions often made about them. But it is argued that essence can be freed from these presuppositions and their problems. Even so, a puzzle still arises. In a Platonic spirit, essences in general seem detached from the world. In an Aristotelian spirit, social essences in particular seem embedded in the world. (...)
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  12. The Metaphysics of gender is (Relatively) substantial.Kevin Richardson - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):192-207.
    According to Sider, a question is metaphysically substantive just in case it has a single most natural answer. Recently, Barnes and Mikkola have argued that, given this notion of substantivity, many of the central questions in the metaphysics of gender are nonsubstantive. Specifically, it is plausible that gender pluralism—the view that there are multiple, equally natural gender kinds—is true, but this view seems incompatible with the substantivity of gender. The goal of this paper is to argue that the notion of (...)
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  13. Jean-Luc Nancy’de Sosyo-Ontoloji ve Tekil-Çoğul Varlık Kavramı.Atilla Akalın - 2021 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 11 (3): 1273-1288.
    Jean-Luc Nancy takes the concept of "essence" in order to indicate its drawbacks on the singularity of being. The concept of essence is not a universal and necessary origin, but contingent and historical meanings for Nancy. This historicity in meaning leads Nancy to question the concept of the individual and the rules of the social/public sphere allocated through individuality. Nancy's argument on the ontological environment of finite beings aims to highlight those beings are mixed singular, not belonging to a universal (...)
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  14. Unplanned Coordination: Ensemble Improvisation as Collective Action.Ali Hasan & Jennifer Kayle - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 7 (2):143-172.
    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 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 action, (...)
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  15. Social kinds are essentially mind-dependent.Rebecca Mason - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3975-3994.
    I defend a novel view of how social kinds (e.g., money, women, permanent residents) depend on our mental states. In particular, I argue that social kinds depend on our mental states in the following sense: it is essential to them that they exist (partially) because certain mental states exist. This analysis is meant to capture the very general way in which all social kinds depend on our mental states. However, my view is that particular social kinds also depend on our (...)
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  16. The Social Construction of Human Categories. Review of Ásta, Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018). [REVIEW]Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Metascience 30 (1):115-118.
  17. Attitudinal social norms.Han van Wietmarschen - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):71-79.
    On Bicchieri's view, social norms most centrally involve a pattern of preferences among the members of a relevant population; according to Brennan, Eriksson, Goodin, and Southwood, social norms most centrally involve patterns of normative attitudes among the members of a given group. This paper argues, first, that social norms can require attitudes as well as behaviour, and, second, that the existence of such attitudinal social norms speaks in favour of the preference-based view and against the normative attitudes-based view.
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  18. 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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  19. Social Ontology.Rebecca Mason & Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge.
    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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  20. Fictional Expectations and the Ontology of Power.Torsten Menge - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (29):1-22.
    What kind of thing, as it were, is power and how does it fit into our understanding of the social world? I approach this question by exploring the pragmatic character of power ascriptions, arguing that they involve fictional expectations directed at an open future. When we take an agent to be powerful, we act as if that agent had a robust capacity to make a difference to the actions of others. While this pretense can never fully live up to a (...)
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  21. Ontology, neural networks, and the social sciences.David Strohmaier - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4775-4794.
    The ontology of social objects and facts remains a field of continued controversy. This situation complicates the life of social scientists who seek to make predictive models of social phenomena. For the purposes of modelling a social phenomenon, we would like to avoid having to make any controversial ontological commitments. The overwhelming majority of models in the social sciences, including statistical models, are built upon ontological assumptions that can be questioned. Recently, however, artificial neural networks have made their way into (...)
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  22. What Makes a Kind an Art-kind?Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4):471-88.
    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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  23. Les incantatifs.Constant Bonard & Benjamin Neeser - 2019 - Implications Philosophiques 100.
    S’agissant des actes de langage participant à la construction de la réalité sociale, les philosophes contemporains se sont restreints aux déclarations. Nous avançons qu’il existe une autre catégorie qui contribue à la fabrique et au maintien des faits sociaux : celle des incantatifs, actes de langage dont le but est l’expression et la génération d’émotions collectives, et qui contribuent ainsi à la création et au maintien des communautés.
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  24. Collective Responsibility and Social Ontology.Mario De Caro, Brian Epstein & Erin Kelly - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):131-133.
    The study of responsibility in ethics focuses on the nature of agency, accountability, blame, punishment and, crucially, the distribution of responsibility for complex ethical problems. Work in social ontology examines the nature of entities such as groups, organizations, corporations, and institutions, and what it is for these entities to have intentional states and to act. Until recently, these fields of research have mostly been treated separately. The goal of this issue is to examine emerging research at their intersection. The papers (...)
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  25. Social ontology, practical reasonableness, and collective reasons for action.Polycarp Ikuenobe - 2019 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 49 (3):264-281.
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, EarlyView.
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  26. Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?Richard Lauer - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (3):171-189.
    In this article I examine “Ontology Matters!” (OM!) arguments. OM! arguments conclude that ontology can contribute to empirical success in social science. First, I capture the common form between different OM! arguments. Second, I describe quantifier variance as discussed in metaontology. Third, I apply quantifier variance to the common form of OM! arguments. I then present two ways in which ontology is prior to social science methodology, one realist and one pragmatic. I argue that a pragmatic interpretation of ontology’s priority (...)
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  27. Contemporary Philosophy and Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue.Michiru Nagatsu & Attilia Ruzzene (eds.) - 2019 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    How should we theorize about the social world? How can we integrate theories, models and approaches from seemingly incompatible disciplines? Does theory affect social reality? This state-of-the-art collection addresses contemporary methodological questions and interdisciplinary developments in the philosophy of social science. Facilitating a mutually enriching dialogue, chapters by leading social scientists are followed by critical evaluations from philosophers of social science. This exchange showcases recent major theoretical and methodological breakthroughs and challenges in the social sciences, as well as fruitful ways (...)
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  28. Social Complexes and Aspects.Donald L. M. Baxter - 2018 - ProtoSociology 35:155-166.
    Is a social complex identical to many united people or is it a group entity in addition to the people? For specificity, I will assume that a social complex is a plural subject in Margaret Gilbert’s sense. By appeal to my theory of Aspects, according to which there can be qualitative difference without numerical difference, I give an answer that is a middle way between metaphysical individualism and metaphysical holism. This answer will enable answers to two additional metaphysical questions: (i) (...)
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  29. Joint Commitment Model of Collective Beliefs.Alban Bouvier - 2018 - ProtoSociology 35:55-73.
    For almost three decades, Margaret Gilbert has introduced a new account of social facts taking “joint commitments”, not only explicit but also implicit, as the cement of sociality properly understood. Gilbert has used this original account of collective phenomena to clarify a variety of issues, both in the philosophy of rights and in the philosophy of the social sciences. This paper focuses on the latter domain; it argues that although Durkheim and Mauss are central references in her pioneering work, On (...)
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  30. Further Reflections on the Social World.Margaret Gilbert - 2018 - ProtoSociology 35:257-284.
    This discussion responds to a collection of papers that relate in one way or another to the author’s work in the philosophy of social phenomena. It focuses on those passages that deal most directly with that work. After making some general points that respond to remarks in several of the papers, it turns to the individual papers. The subjects discussed include coordination, conversation, collective beliefs and emotions, joint commitment, obligations and rights, patriotism, promises, the pronoun “we”, and what it is (...)
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  31. Shared Intention is not Joint Commitment.Matthew Kopec & Seumas Miller - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2):179-189.
    Margaret Gilbert has long defended the view that, roughly speaking, agents share the intention to perform an action if and only if they jointly commit to performing that action. This view has proven both influential and controversial. While some authors have raised concerns over the joint commitment view of shared intention, including at times offering purported counterexamples to certain aspects of the view, straightforward counterexamples to the view as a whole have yet to appear in the literature. Here we provide (...)
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  32. The Role of Power in Social Explanation.Torsten Menge - 2018 - European Journal of Social Theory 21 (1):22 - 38.
    Power is often taken to be a central concept in social and political thought that can contribute to the explanation of many different social phenomena. This article argues that in order to play this role, a general theory of power is required to identify a stable causal capacity, one that does not depend on idiosyncratic social conditions and can thus exert its characteristic influence in a wide range of cases. It considers three promising strategies for such a theory, which ground (...)
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  33. Social Creationism and Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2018 - In Kendy Hess, Violetta Igneski & Tracy Lynn Isaacs (eds.), Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice. London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield International. 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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  34. Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2018 - 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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  35. Coordination and Hyperrationality.Paul Weirich - 2018 - ProtoSociology 35:197-214.
    Margaret Gilbert (1990) argues that although the rationality of the agents in a standard coordination problem does not suffice for their coordination, a social convention of coordination, understood as the agents’ joint acceptance of a principle requiring their coordination, does the job. Gilbert’s argument targets agents rational in the game-theoretic sense, which following Sobel (1994: Chap. 14), I call hyperrational agents. I agree that hyperrational agents may fail to coordinate in some cases despite the obvious benefits of coordination. However, I (...)
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  36. Review of Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with his Responses, edited by Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter. [REVIEW]Olle Blomberg - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2017.
  37. Raimo Tuomela’s Social Ontology.J. Angelo Corlett & Julia Lyons Strobel - 2017 - Social Epistemology 31 (6):557-571.
    This paper summarizes some of the major concepts of Raimo Tuomela’s social ontology as it is articulated and defended in his most recent major works and provides a set of objections to it. It also suggests some ways to plausibly revise Tuomela’s analysis of social groups in order to evade our concerns.
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  38. Solitary social belief.John D. Greenwood - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Many contemporary accounts of social belief are committed to the view that social beliefs can only be held by a plurality of individuals. Gilbert Socializing metaphysics, 2003) characterizes “joint commitments” as the “social atoms” of social belief and other forms of social intentionality, and Tuomela maintains that social belief and other forms of social intentionality are bound by a “collectivity condition.” Such theorists thus rule out the possibility of solitary social belief, that is, a social belief held by an individual (...)
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  39. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents, written by Raimo Tuomela.Randall Harp - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):608-611.
    A review of Raimo Tuomela's 2013 book Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents.
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  40. From Plural to Institutional Agency: Collective Action II.Kirk Ludwig - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Kirk Ludwig presents a philosophical account of institutional action, such as action by corporations and nation states, arguing that it can be understood exhaustively in terms of the agency of individuals and concepts constructed out of materials that are already at play in our understanding of individual action. He thus argues for a strong form of methodological individualism. The book provides a new account of the logical form of grammatically singular group action sentences (e.g. 'Company laid off 10,000 workers'), and (...)
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  41. The Constitution of Social Practices.Kevin McMillan - 2017 - Milton Park, UK; New York, USA: Routledge.
    Practices – specific, recurrent types of human action and activity – are perhaps the most fundamental "building blocks" of social reality. This book argues that the detailed empirical study of practices is essential to effective social-scientific inquiry. It develops a philosophical infrastructure for understanding human practices, and argues that practice theory should be the analytical centrepiece of social theory and the philosophy of the social sciences. -/- What would social scientists’ research look like if they took these insights seriously? To (...)
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  42. Mind, collective agency, norms.Pietro Salis & Guido Seddone (eds.) - 2017 - Shaker Verlag.
    In recent years, the social world is quickly gaining the focus of attention within the philosophical debates. The work of authors such as John Searle, Barry Smith, Margaret Gilbert, Raimo Tuomela, to name just a few, is becoming increasingly important within the philosophical community. Hence, topics in social ontology dealing with the nature of institutions, collective actions, collective self/personhood, collective intentionality, shared goals and commitments, etc. are increasingly addressed by contemporary philosophical investigations. The discussion on these topics is today sprawling (...)
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  43. Dewey’s Social Ontology: A Pragmatist Alternative to Searle’s Approach to Social Reality.Italo Testa - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):40-62.
    Dewey’s social ontology could be characterized as a habit ontology, an ontology of habit qua second nature that offers us an account of intentionality, social statuses, institutions, and norms in terms of habituations. Such an account offers us a promising alternative to contemporary intentionalist and deontic approaches to social ontology such as Searle’s. Furthermore, it could be the basis of a social ontology better suited to explain both the maintenance and the transformation of social reality. In the first part I (...)
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  44. The Authority of Life: The Critical Task of Dewey's Social Ontology.Italo Testa - 2017 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (2):231-244.
    ABSTRACT In this article I will first reconstruct a Deweyan model of social ontology, based on the process of habituation. Habit ontology leads to a social philosophy that is not merely descriptive, since it involves a critical redescription of the social world. I will argue that a habit-modeled social ontology is critical insofar as it includes an account of social transformation and of the inevitability of social conflict. Such an understanding is based on a diagnosis of social pathologies of our (...)
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  45. We-Narratives and the Stability and Depth of Shared Agency.Deborah Tollefsen & Shaun Gallagher - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (2):95-110.
    The basic approach to understanding shared agency has been to identify individual intentional states that are somehow “shared” by participants and that contribute to guiding and informing the actions of individual participants. But, as Michael Bratman suggests, there is a problem of stability and depth that any theory of shared agency needs to solve. Given that participants in a joint action might form shared intentions for different reasons, what binds them to one another such that they have some reason for (...)
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  46. Raimo Tuomela: Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, 310 pp, $78.00 cloth.J. Angelo Corlett & Julia Lyons Strobel - 2016 - Human Studies 39 (2):313-318.
  47. Realism and Antirealism.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In Lee C. McIntyre & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York: Routledge. pp. 254-269.
    Our best social scientific theories try to tell us something about the social world. But is talk of a “social world” a metaphor that we ought not take too seriously? In particular, do the denizens of the social world—cultural values like the Protestant work ethic, firms like ExxonMobil, norms like standards of dress and behavior, institutions like the legal system, teams like FC Barcelona, conventions like marriages—exist? The question is not merely academic. Social scientists use these different social entities to (...)
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  48. 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 Hegel : social ontology, recognition, naturalism, and the critique of Kantian constructivism. Boston: Brill. pp. 49-67.
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  49. Early Heidegger on Social Reality.Jo-Jo Koo - 2016 - In Alessandro Salice & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), The Phenomenological Approach to Social Reality. Springer Verlag. pp. 91-119.
    This book chapter shows how the early Heidegger’s philosophy around the period of Being and Time can address some central questions of contemporary social ontology. After sketching “non-summative constructionism”, which is arguably the generic framework that underlies all forms of contemporary analytic social ontology, I lay out early Heidegger’s conception of human social reality in terms of an extended argument. The Heidegger that shows up in light of this treatment is an acute phenomenologist of human social existence who emphasizes our (...)
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  50. Methodological Individualism, the We-mode, and Team Reasoning.Kirk Ludwig - 2016 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with his Responses. Cham: Springer. pp. 3-18.
    Raimo Tuomela is one of the pioneers of social action theory and has done as much as anyone over the last thirty years to advance the study of social action and collective intentionality. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents (2013) presents the latest version of his theory and applications to a range of important social phenomena. The book covers so much ground, and so many important topics in detailed discussions, that it would impossible in a short space to do (...)
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