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  1. Speak No Ill of the Dead: The Dead as a Social Group.Tom Kaspers, Jacob LiBrizzi, Duccio Calosi & Yoichi Kobe - 2022 - Synthese 210 (200):1-17.
    In her recent article “The Ontology of Social Groups”, Thomasson (Synthese 196:4829–4845, 2019) argues that social groups can be characterized in terms of the norms that surround them. We show that according to Thomasson’s normativity-based criterion, the dead constitute a social group, since there are widespread and well-defined social norms as to how to treat the dead, such as the norm expressed in the title (“Speak no ill of the dead”). We argue that the example of the dead must not (...)
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  2. Same-tracking real kinds in the social sciences.Theodore Bach - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    The kinds of real or natural kinds that support explanation and prediction in the social sciences are difficult to identify and track because they change through time, intersect with one another, and they do not always exhibit their properties when one encounters them. As a result, conceptual practices directed at these kinds will often refer in ways that are partial, equivocal, or redundant. To improve this epistemic situation, it is important to employ open-ended classificatory concepts, to understand when different research (...)
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  3. The Metaphysics of Injustice.Robin Dembroff - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Amia Srinivasan (eds.), New Conversations in Philosophy, Law, and Politics. Oxford University Press.
    Patriarchy and white supremacy are unjust social systems, constituted by causal structures that produce systemic gender injustice and racial injustice. Intersectional theory highlights that these forms of injustice often are inseparable, as in instances of misogynoir. What does this mean for our understanding of unjust systems? Recent work in feminist theory suggests that intersectional insights undermine the idea that there are multiple unjust systems. In this paper, I hope to show that this is not the case. I’ll suggest that intersectional (...)
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  4. The Possibility of Multicultural Nationhood.Eric Wilkinson - 2021 - American Review of Canadian Studies 51 (1):488-504.
    In this article, I explain and defend the concept of multicultural nationhood. Multicultural nationhood accounts for how a nation can have a cohesive identity despite being internally diverse. In Canada, the challenge of nation-building despite the country’s diversity has prompted reflection on how to conceive of the national identity. The two most influential theories of multiculturalism to come from Canada, those of Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka, emerged through consideration of Canada’s diversity, particularly the place of Québécois, Indigenous peoples, and (...)
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  5. New Developments in the Theory of the Historical Process: Polish Contributions to Non-Marxian Historical Materialism.Krzysztof Brzechczyn (ed.) - 2022 - Leiden/Boston: Brill.
    The first part of this book contains a selection of Leszek Nowak’s (1943-2009) works on non-Marxian historical materialism, which are published here in English for the first time. In these papers, Nowak constructs a dynamic model of religious community, reconstructs historiosophical assumptions of liberalism and considers the methodological status of prognosis of totalitarization of capitalist society. In the second part of the book, new contributions to non-Marxian historical materialism are presented. Their authors analyze mechanisms of the oligarchization of liberal democracy, (...)
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  6. An Ontological Argument Against Mandatory Face-Masks.Michael Kowalik - manuscript
    Face-coverings were widely mandated during the Covid-19 pandemic, on the assumption that they limit the spread of respiratory viruses and are therefore likely to save lives. I examine the following ethical dilemma: if the use of face-masks in social settings can save lives then are we obliged to wear them at all times in those settings? I argue that by en-masking the face in a way that is phenomenally inconsistent with or degraded from what we are innately programmed to detect (...)
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  7. Emergence Within Social Systems.Kenneth Silver - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7865-7887.
    Emergence is typically discussed in the context of mental properties or the properties of the natural sciences, and accounts of emergence within these contexts tend to look a certain way. The emergent property is taken to emerge instantaneously out of, or to be proximately caused by, complex interaction of colocated entities. Here, however, I focus on the properties instantiated by the elements of certain systems discussed in social ontology, such as being a five-dollar bill or a pawn-movement, and I suggest (...)
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  8. Ethics of Vaccine Refusal.Michael Kowalik - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics (48):240-243.
    Proponents of vaccine mandates typically claim that everyone who can be vaccinated has a moral or ethical obligation to do so for the sake of those who cannot be vaccinated, or in the interest of public health. I evaluate several previously undertheorised premises implicit to the ‘obligation to vaccinate’ type of arguments and show that the general conclusion is false: there is neither a moral obligation to vaccinate nor a sound ethical basis to mandate vaccination under any circumstances, even for (...)
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  9. Social-Computation-Supporting Kinds.David Strohmaier - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):862-877.
    Social kinds are heterogeneous. As a consequence of this diversity, some authors have sought to identify and analyse different kinds of social kinds. One distinct kind of social kinds, however, has not yet received sufficient attention. I propose that there exists a class of social-computation-supporting kinds, or SCS-kinds for short. These SCS-kinds are united by the function of enabling computations implemented by social groups. Examples of such SCS-kinds arereimbursement form,US dollar bill,chair of the board. I will analyse SCS-kinds, contrast my (...)
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  10. The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5835-5860.
    Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit”, synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity—irrespective of whether the account (...)
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  11. Determinate Attitudes and Indeterminate Norms.José Giromini - 2019 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 49 (3):369-386.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a version of social normative pragmatism – that is, the approach that takes norms to be the result of shared practices – that comes closer to social reality than its cousins in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. The purpose is presenting a framework that can be useful for social theorists sympathetic to normative concepts. This version introduces the concepts of the adoption of the normative stance, the projective structure (...)
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  12. Epstein on Groups: Virtues of the Status Account.Frank Hindriks - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):185-197.
    ABSTRACTEpstein compares models of group agents that focus on their internal organization to models that focus on the statuses they have. He argues that status models are inadequate because agency is not something that can be attributed by fiat. Even if this is true, however, certain agential powers can be attributed to group agents. I argue that Epstein’s arguments stand to benefit a lot from recognizing that some group agents have statuses and constitute corporate agents. For instance, only corporate agents (...)
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  13. Childhood, Biosocial Power and the “Anthropological Machine”: Life as a Governable Process?Kevin Ryan - 2014 - Critical Horizons 15 (3):266-283.
    This article examines how childhood has become a strategy that answers to questions concerning the governability of life. The analysis is organized around the concept of “biosocial power,” which is shown to be a particular zone of intensity within the wider field of biopolitics. To grasp this intensity it is necessary to attend to the place of imagination in staging biosocial strategies, that is the specific ways in which childhood is both an imaginary projection and a technical project, and to (...)
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  14. The Multiple Reality: A Critical Study on Alfred Schutz's Sociology of the Finite Provinces of Meaning.Marius Ion Benta - 2014 - Dissertation,
    This work is a critical introduction to Alfred Schutz’s sociology of the multiple reality and an enterprise that seeks to reassess and reconstruct the Schutzian project. In the first part of the study, I inquire into Schutz’s biographical con- text that surrounds the germination of this conception and I analyse the main texts of Schutz where he has dealt directly with ‘finite provinces of meaning.’ On the basis of this analysis, I suggest and discuss, in Part II, several solutions to (...)
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  15. Review of Herbert Gintis’s Individuality and Entanglement: The Moral and Material Bases of Social Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017, 357 Pp. [REVIEW]Michiru Nagatsu - 2018 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 11 (1):117-124.
    In his own words, Herbert Gintis’s latest book is “an analysis of human nature and a tribute to its wonders” (3).1More prosaically, it is a collection of essays, some of which are original and others published elsewhere. Instead of being structured around topics in decision and game theory,like his previous book (2009), this book develops interrelated themes, such as the evolutionary origins of moral sense, its central role in political games, and the socially entangled nature of human rationality and individuality. (...)
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  16. Locating the People.Avery Kolers - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (6):782-789.
  17. Commitments in Groups and Commitments of Groups.Jacob D. Heim - 2015 - Phenomenology and Mind 1 (9):74-82.
    I argue that a group can have normative commitments, and that the commitment of a group is not merely a sum or aggregate of the commitments of individual group members. I begin with a set of simple cases which illustrate two structurally different ways that group commitments can go wrong. These two kinds of potential failure correspond to two different levels of commitment: one at the individual level, owed to the other group members, and one at the group level, which (...)
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  18. Group Freedom: A Social Mechanism Account.Frank Hindriks - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (6):410-439.
    Many existing defenses of group rights seem to rely on the notion of group freedom. To date, however, no adequate analysis of this notion has been offered. Group freedom is best understood in terms of processes of social categorization that are embedded in social mechanisms. Such processes often give rise to group-specific constraints and enablements. On the proposed social mechanism account, group rights are demands for group freedom. Even so, group rights often serve to eradicate individual unfreedom. Furthermore, generic measures (...)
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  19. Feminist Praxis Challenges the Identity Question: Toward New Collective Identity Metaphors.María Martínez González - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):22-38.
    The analysis of difference and identity questions brought Iris Marion Young to develop a metaphor of collective identity, the city, which included the diversity that characterizes all human groups. This article honors Iris Marion Young by challenging the question of identity in contemporary feminism and social sciences. María Martínez González argues that we need new identity and collective identity metaphors in order to understand the complexity of contemporary feminist praxis.
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  20. Institutional Objects, Reductionism and Theories of Persistence.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):525-562.
    Can institutional objects be identified with physical objects that have been ascribed status functions, as advocated by John Searle in The Construction of Social Reality (1995)? The paper argues that the prospects of this identification hinge on how objects persist – i.e., whether they endure, perdure or exdure through time. This important connection between reductive identification and mode of persistence has been largely ignored in the literature on social ontology thus far.
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  21. Social Action.Gottfried Seebass & Raimo Tuomela - 1985
  22. Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory.Michael Warner - 1993 - U of Minnesota Press.
    In recent years, lesbians and gay men have developed a new, aggressive style of politics. At the same time, innovative intellectual energies have made queer theory an explosive field of study. In "Fear of a Queer Planet", Michael Warner draws on emerging new queer politics, and shows how queer activists have come to challenge basic assumptions about the social and political world. Existing traditions of theory - Marxism, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, anthropology, legal theory, nationalism, and antinationalism - have too often (...)
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  23. The Imaginary Institution of Society.Cornelius Castoriadis - 1997 - MIT Press.
    As a work of social theory, I would argue that it belongs in a class with the writings of Habermas and Arendt". -- Jay Bernstein, University of Essex This is one of the most original and important works of contemporary European thought.
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  24. Social Objects, Causality and Contingent Realism.Malcolm Williams - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):1-18.
    This paper is a realist argument for the existence of “social objects”. Social objects, I argue, are the outcome states of a contingent causal process and in turn posses causal properties. This argument has consequences for what we can mean by realism and consequences for the development of a realist methodology. Realism should abandon the notion of natural necessity in favour of a view that the “real” nature of the social world is contingent and necessity is only revealed in outcome (...)
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  25. The Structure of Social Complexes.A. S. Cua - 1987 - Review of Metaphysics 41 (2):335 - 353.
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  26. Bioethics and the Problem of Pluralism.Donald C. Ainslie - 2002 - Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (2):1-28.
    The state that we inhabit plays a significant role in shaping our lives. For not only do its institutions constrain the kinds of lives we can lead, but it also claims the right to punish us if our choices take us beyond what it deems to be appropriate limits. Political philosophers have traditionally tried to justify the state's power by appealing to their preferred theories of justice, as articulated in complex and wide-ranging moral theories—utilitarianism, Kantianism, and the like. One of (...)
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  27. Individual, Collective, and Social Responsibility.H. Gomperz - 1938 - Ethics 49 (3):329-342.
  28. Feminist Praxis Challenges the Identity Question: Toward New Collective Identity Metaphors.María Martínez González - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):pp. 22-38.
    The analysis of difference and identity questions brought Iris Marion Young to develop a metaphor of collective identity, the city, which included the diversity that characterizes all human groups. This article honors Iris Marion Young by challenging the question of identity in contemporary feminism and social sciences. María Martínez González argues that we need new identity and collective identity metaphors in order to understand the complexity of contemporary feminist praxis.
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Ontology of Social Domains, Misc
  1. 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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  2. Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Naturalism and Anti-Naturalism in the Philosophy of Social Science.Francesco Guala - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 43-64.
    Naturalism is still facing a strong opposition in the philosophy of social science from influential scholars who argue that philosophical analysis must be autonomous from scientific investigation. The opposition exploits philosophers’ traditional diffidence toward social science and fuels the ambition to provide new foundations for social research. A classic anti-naturalist strategy is to identify a feature of social reality that prevents scientific explanation and prediction. An all-time favorite is the dependence of social phenomena on human representation. This article examines two (...)
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  3. Društvo jedne dimenzije.Nijaz Ibrulj - 2005 - Pregled 1 (1/2):87-106.
    Društvo zasnovano na znanju je ekspertno društvo koje za svoje funkcioniranje koristi računarsku tehnologiju, znanje dizajniranja sistema za rješavanje problema organiziranjem struktura sektora društvene ontologije po uzoru na formalizirane sisteme koji se grade iz relacionih blokova podataka i algoritama ili ustanovljenih procedura komponiranja ovih blokova. Prihvatanje ovih metoda upravljanja društvom je osnova društvenog inženjeringa, a tehnokratska kompetentnost kojom se označava sposobnost pojedinaca i grupa da dizajniraju funkcije društva zasnovanog na znanju upravljanja postala je ideologija modernih društava. U cijeloj Evropi, a (...)
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  4. Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art.Sherri Irvin - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    Contemporary art can seem chaotic: it may be made of toilet paper, candies you can eat, or meat that is thrown out after each exhibition. Some works fill a room with obsessively fabricated objects, while others purport to include only concepts, thoughts, or language. Immaterial argues that, despite these unruly appearances, making rules is a key part of what many contemporary artists do when they make their works, and these rules can explain disparate developments in installation art, conceptual art, time-based (...)
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  5. Museums and the Shaping of Contemporary Artworks.Sherri Irvin - 2006 - Museum Management and Curatorship 21:143-156.
    In the museum context, curators and conservators often play a role in shaping the nature of contemporary artworks. Before, during and after the acquisition of an art object, curators and conservators engage in dialogue with the artist about how the object should be exhibited and conserved. As a part of this dialogue, the artist may express specifications for the display and conservation of the object, thereby fixing characteristics of the artwork that were previously left open. This process can make a (...)
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  6. Social Kinds, Social Objects, and Vague Boundaries.Francesco Franda - 2021 - Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Ontology of Social, Legal and Economic Entities (SoLEE).
    In this paper, I argue against what I call “natural realism” about social kinds, the view according to which social categories have natural boundaries, independent of our thought. First, I draw a distinction between two different types of entity realism, one being about the existence of the entity, “ontological realism”, and the other one being about the direct mind-independence of the entity, “natural realism”. After endorsing ontological realism, I present the natural realist argument according to which there would be certain (...)
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  7. Reification as an Ontological Concept.Michael J. Thompson - forthcoming - Metodo.
    In this paper, I outline the ways that reification as a pathology of what I call “cybernetic society” shapes the fundamental structures of the self and our shared social reality. Whereas the classical theory of reification was a diagnostic attempt to understand the failure of class consciousness, I believe we must push this thesis further to show how is fundamentally an ontological and not a merely cognitive or epistemic concern. By this I mean that it is a pathology of consciousness (...)
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  8. A Solidaristic Approach to the Existence and Persistence of Social Kinds.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    In this paper, I outline a theory of social kinds. A general theory of social kinds has to set out at least three conditions: existence conditions, persistence conditions, and identity conditions. For the sake of expediency, I focus on the existence and persistence conditions. The paper is organized just as life: first with existence, then persistence. I argue that anti-realism is more attractive than realism as an account of the existence conditions, despite the fact that realism has been under-appreciated. Then (...)
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  9. The Social Construction of Legal Norms.Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. De Gruyter. pp. 179-208.
    Legal norms are an invention. This paper advances a proposal about what kind of invention they are. The proposal is that legal norms derive from rules which specify role functions in a legal system. Legal rules attach to agents in virtue of their status within the system in which the rules operate. The point of legal rules or a legal system is to solve to large scale coordination problems, specifically the problem of organizing social and economic life among a group (...)
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  10. Why They Know Not What They Do: A Social Constructionist Approach to the Explanatory Problem of False Consciousness.Lee Wilson - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 7 (1):45-72.
    False consciousness requires a general explanation for why, and how, oppressed individuals believe propositions against, as opposed to aligned with, their own well-being in virtue of their oppressed status. This involves four explanatory desiderata: belief acquisition, content prevalence, limitation, and systematicity. A social constructionist approach satisfies these by understanding the concept of false consciousness as regulating social research rather than as determining the exact mechanisms for all instances: the concept attunes us to a complex of mechanisms conducing oppressed individuals to (...)
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  11. The Epistemology and Morality of Human Kinds.Marion Godman - 2020 - Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    Natural kinds is a widely used and pivotal concept in philosophy – the idea being that the classifications and taxonomies employed by science correspond to the real kinds in nature. Natural kinds are often opposed to the idea of kinds in the human and social sciences, which are typically seen as social constructions, characterised by changing norms and resisting scientific reduction. Yet human beings are also a subject of scientific study.Does this mean humans fall into corresponding kinds of their own? (...)
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  12. Social Objects, Response-Dependence, and Realism.Asya Passinsky - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (4):431-443.
    There is a widespread sentiment that social objects such as nation-states, borders, and pieces of money are just figments of our collective imagination and not really ‘out there’ in the world. Call this the ‘antirealist intuition’. Eliminativist, reductive materialist, and immaterialist views of social objects can all make sense of the antirealist intuition, in one way or another. But these views face serious difficulties. A promising alternative view is nonreductive materialism. Yet it is unclear whether and how nonreductive materialists can (...)
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  13. Heidegger and the Genesis of Social Ontology: Mitwelt, Mitsein, and the Problem of Other People.Nicolai Krejberg Knudsen - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):723-739.
    This article traces the development of how the early Heidegger tried to integrate the structures of social life into phenomenological ontology. Firstly, I argue that Heidegger's analysis of the three elements of the lifeworld—the with-world (Mitwelt), the environing world (Umwelt), and the self-world (Selbstwelt)—is ambiguous, because it shifts between defining sociality as a domain of entities and a mode of appearance. This is untenable because the social as a mode of appearance constantly overflows the definition as a domain by implicating (...)
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  14. How Social Objects (Fail to) Function.Frank Hindriks - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (3):483-499.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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.
  19. 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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  20. Margaret Gilbert, Rights and Demands: A Foundational Inquiry.Nicolas Cornell - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):107-113.
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  21. The Social Furniture of Virtual Worlds.Peter Ludlow - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):345-369.
    David Chalmers argues that virtual objects exist in the form of data structures that have causal powers. I argue that there is a large class of virtual objects that are social objects and that do not depend upon data structures for their existence. I also argue that data structures are themselves fundamentally social objects. Thus, virtual objects are fundamentally social objects.
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  22. The Individual ‘We’ Narrator.Mattia Gallotti & Raphael Lyne - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (2):ayy051.
    The prevailing assumption in literary studies tends to be that a ‘we’ narrative voice is either that of an individual purporting to speak for a group, or that of a collective of people whose perspectives have coalesced into a unified one. Recent work on social agency across the cognitive humanities suggests another way of understanding what might be conveyed by such a ‘we’. Social cognition research shows that individuals can have their capacities changed and enhanced when they interact with others, (...)
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