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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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  • Toward the “Overthrow of Platonism”: Processist Critical Social Ontology and Ameliorative Discourse.Paul Giladi - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Metaphysical Nature of Social Groups: The Significance of Abstract and Concrete for Identity and Persistence of Social Groups.Strahinja Đorđević & Andrea Berber - 2021 - Disputatio 13 (61):121-141.
    In this paper, we consider the relative significance of concrete and abstract features for the identity and persistence of a group. The theoretical background for our analysis is the position according to which groups are realizations of structures. Our main argument is that the relative significance of the abstract features with respect to the significance of concrete features can vary across different types of groups. The argumentation will be backed by introducing the examples in which we show that this difference (...)
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  • 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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  • The Metaphysics of Social Kinds.Rebecca Mason - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):841-850.
    It is a truism that humans are social animals. Thus, it is no surprise that we understand the world, each other, and ourselves in terms of social kinds such as money and marriage, war and women, capitalists and cartels, races, recessions, and refugees. Social kinds condition our expectations, inform our preferences, and guide our behavior. Despite the prevalence and importance of social kinds, philosophy has historically devoted relatively little attention to them. With few exceptions, philosophers have given pride of place (...)
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  • 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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  • Hybrid Collective Intentionality.Thomas Brouwer, Roberta Ferrario & Daniele Porello - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3367-3403.
    The theory of collective agency and intentionality is a flourishing field of research, and our understanding of these phenomena has arguably increased greatly in recent years. Extant theories, however, are still ill-equipped to explain certain aspects of collective intentionality. In this article we draw attention to two such underappreciated aspects: the failure of the intentional states of collectives to supervene on the intentional states of their members, and the role of non-human factors in collective agency and intentionality. We propose a (...)
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  • Metaphysics and Social Justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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  • A Duty to Adopt? On the Ethics and Politics of Adoption.Veromi Arsiradam - unknown
    Around the world, millions of children are in need of parental care. In response to this global crisis, some philosophers defend a moral duty for prospective parents to adopt children rather than procreate. Challenges to the duty focus almost exclusively on parents’ desires to have biological children. However, reasons deriving primarily from one’s membership in a social group that favour procreation over adoption or oppose transracial adoptions are largely overlooked. In this dissertation, I examine whether group-based reasons could justifiably override (...)
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  • Groups as Pluralities.John Horden & Dan López de Sa - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10237-10271.
    We say that each social group is identical to its members. The group just is them; they just are the group. This view of groups as pluralities has tended to be swiftly rejected by social metaphysicians, if considered at all, mainly on the basis of two objections. First, it is argued that groups can change in membership, while pluralities cannot. Second, it is argued that different groups can have exactly the same members, while different pluralities cannot. We rebut these objections, (...)
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  • The Lump and the Ledger: Material Coincidence at Little-to-No Cost.Jonah Goldwater - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):789-812.
    This paper aims to make headway on two related issues—one methodological, the other substantive. The former concerns cost–benefit analyses when applied to metaphysical theory choice. The latter concerns material coincidence, i.e., multiple objects occupying the same space at the same time, such as the statue and the clay from which it’s made. The issues are entwined as many reject coincidence on the grounds that it’s costly. I argue this judgment is unjustified. More generally, I set out and defend a framework (...)
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  • Appropriate Slurs.Ralph DiFranco - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (3):371-384.
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  • The Ontology of Social Groups.Amie Thomasson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4829-4845.
    Two major questions have dominated work on the metaphysics of social groups: first, Are there any? And second, What are they? I will begin by arguing that the answer to the ontological question is an easy and obvious ‘yes’. We do better to turn our efforts elsewhere, addressing the question: “What are social groups?” One might worry, however, about this question on grounds that the general term ‘social group’ seems like a term of art—not a well-used concept we can analyze, (...)
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  • 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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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • Money as an Institution and Money as an Object.Francesco Guala - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):265-279.
    The folk conception of money as an object is not a promising starting point to develop general, explanatory metaphysical accounts of the social world. A theory of institutions as rules in equilibrium is more consistent with scientific theories of money, is able to shed light on the folk view, and side-steps some unnecessary puzzles.
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  • Organisations as Computing Systems.David Strohmaier - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):211-236.
    Organisations are computing systems. The university’s sports centre is a computing system for managing sports teams and facilities. The tenure committee is a computing system for assigning tenure status. Despite an increasing number of publications in group ontology, the computational nature of organisations has not been recognised. The present paper is the first in this debate to propose a theory of organisations as groups structured for computing. I begin by describing the current situation in group ontology and by spelling out (...)
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  • Group Minds as Extended Minds.Keith Raymond Harris - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):1-17.
    Despite clear overlap between the study of extended minds and the study of group minds, these research programs have largely been carried out independently. Moreover, whereas proponents of the extended mind thesis straightforwardly advocate the view that there are, literally, extended mental states, proponents of the group mind thesis tend to be more circumspect. Even those who advocate for some version of the thesis that groups are the subjects of mental states often concede that this thesis is true only in (...)
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  • Diskriminierung und das Kriterium der Gruppenzugehörigkeit.Hauke Behrendt - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 7 (1):155-190.
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  • The Mark of the Plural: Generic Generalizations and Race.Daniel Wodak & Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2017 - In Paul C. Taylor, Linda Martín Alcoff & Luvell Anderson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. Routledge. pp. 277-289.
    We argue that generic generalizations about racial groups are pernicious in what they communicate (both to members of that racial group and to members of other racial groups), and may be central to the construction of social categories like racial groups. We then consider how we should change and challenge uses of generic generalizations about racial groups.
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  • Realism and Antirealism.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In A. Rosenberg & L. McIntyre (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. London, UK: 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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  • On the Persistence of Social Groups.John D. Greenwood - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (1):78-81.
    In this short discussion note, I cast doubt upon the common view that social groups persist throughout changes in their membership, by virtue of the maintenance of their structure and/or function. I offer two counterexamples, and consider two possible responses to a natural objection to them, neither of which support the view that it is a metaphysical truth that social groups persist through changes in their membership, or persist by virtue of the maintenance of their structure and/or function.
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  • Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Masahiro Morioka (ed.), Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz. Waseda University. pp. 228-278.
    A lengthy reply to 13 critical discussions of _Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study_ collected in an e-book and reprinted from the _Journal of Philosophy of Life_. The contributors are from a variety of philosophical traditions, including the Anglo-American, Continental and East Asian (especially Buddhist and Japanese) ones.
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  • Realizing Race.Aaron M. Griffith - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1919-1934.
    A prominent way of explaining how race is socially constructed appeals to social positions and social structures. On this view, the construction of a person’s race is understood in terms of the person occupying a certain social position in a social structure. The aim of this paper is to give a metaphysically perspicuous account of this form of race construction. Analogous to functionalism about mental states, I develop an account of a ‘race structure’ in which various races (Black, White, Asian, (...)
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  • Collective Intellectual Humility and Arrogance.Keith Raymond Harris - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6967-6979.
    Philosophers and psychologists have devoted considerable attention to the study of intellectual humility and intellectual arrogance. To this point, theoretical and empirical studies of intellectual humility and arrogance have focused on these traits as possessed by individual reasoners. However, it is natural in some contexts to attribute intellectual humility or intellectual arrogance to collectives. This paper investigates the nature of collective intellectual humility and arrogance and, in particular, how these traits are related to the attitudes of individuals. I discuss three (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Explaining essences.Michael J. Raven - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1043-1064.
    This paper explores the prospects of combining two views. The first view is metaphysical rationalism : all things have an explanation. The second view is metaphysical essentialism: there are real essences. The exploration is motivated by a conflict between the views. Metaphysical essentialism posits facts about essences. Metaphysical rationalism demands explanations for all facts. But facts about essences appear to resist explanation. I consider two solutions to the conflict. Exemption solutions attempt to exempt facts about essences from the demand for (...)
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  • 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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  • Butler and Postanalytic Philosophy.Paul Giladi - 2021 - Hypatia 36 (2):276-301.
    This article has two aims: to bring Judith Butler and Wilfrid Sellars into conversation; and to argue that Butler's poststructuralist critique of feminist identity politics has metaphilosophical potential, given her pragmatic parallel with Sellars's critique of conceptual analyses of knowledge. With regard to, I argue that Butler's objections to the definitional practice constitutive of certain ways of construing feminism is comparable to Sellars's critique of the analytical project geared toward providing definitions of knowledge. Specifically, I propose that moving away from (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social ontology is the study of the nature and properties of the social world. It is concerned with analyzing the various entities in the world that arise from social interaction. -/- A prominent topic in social ontology is the analysis of social groups. Do social groups exist at all? If so, what sorts of entities are they, and how are they created? Is a social group distinct from the collection of people who are its members, and if so, how is (...)
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  • How Individuals Constitute Group Agents.Keith Harris - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):350-364.
    Several social metaphysicians have argued that groups are constituted by, but not identical to, their members. While the constitution view is promising, there are significant difficulties with existing versions of that view. Fortunately, lessons may be extracted from more traditional metaphysics and applied to the case of group agents. Drawing on such lessons, I present a novel account of the constitution relation holding between individuals and group agents. According to the resulting structural-constitution view, when individuals constitute a group of a (...)
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  • The Identity of Social Groups.Kit Fine - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):81-91.
    I apply the theory of embodiment to various questions concerning the identity of social groups.
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  • Establishments as Material Rather Than Immaterial Objects.Frank A. Hindriks - forthcoming - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-6.
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  • 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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  • Repatriation and the Radical Redistribution of Art.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:931-953.
    Museums are home to millions of artworks and cultural artifacts, some of which have made their way to these institutions through unjust means. Some argue that these objects should be repatriated (i.e. returned to their country or culture of origin). However, these arguments face a series of philosophical challenges. In particular, repatriation, even if justified, is often portrayed as contrary to the aims and values of museums. However, in this paper, I argue that some of the very considerations museums appeal (...)
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  • Epistemologia Coletiva: Crença, Justificação E Conhecimento de Grupo.Luiz Cichoski & Leonardo Ruivo - 2017 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 62 (3):508.
    Neste artigo iremos sistematizar os conceitos-chave da chamada epistemologia coletiva, apontando as diferentes teorias que explicam nossa prática de atribuição de estados cognitivos a grupos. Na introdução levantaremos o problema central que motiva a área, a saber: a atribuição de estados cognitivos a grupos tem como referente o grupo enquanto grupo ou os indivíduos que o compõe? Na primeira seção apresentaremos os melhores argumentos em favor do individualismo, aqueles que defendem que as atribuições se reduzem aos indivíduos. Na segunda, terceira (...)
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  • How Human Life Could Be Unintended but Meaningful: A Reply to Tartaglia.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (1):160-179.
    The question “What is the meaning of life?” is longstanding and important, but has been shunned by philosophers for decades. Instead, contemporary philosophers have focused on other questions, such as “What gives meaning to the life of a person?” According to James Tartaglia, this research on “meaning in life” is shallow and pointless. He urges philosophers to redirect their attention back to the fundamental question about “meaning of life.” Tartaglia argues that humanity was not created for a purpose and, therefore, (...)
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