Social Ontology as Convention

Topoi 27 (1-2):139-149 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I will argue that social ontology is constituted as hierarchical and interlocking conventions of multifarious kinds. Convention, in turn, is modeled in a manner derived from that of David K. Lewis. Convention is usually held to be inadequate for models of social ontologies, with one primary reason being that there seems to be no place for normativity. I argue that two related changes are required in the basic modeling framework in order to address this (and other) issue(s): (1) a shift to an intentional model—among other reasons, in order to account for normativity—and (2) moving away from the belief-desire, propositional attitude, framework for understanding the intentional realm toward an interactive, pragmatic model of intentionality. These shifts provide natural approaches to: (1) understanding the normativities of social realities; (2) the sense in which social ontology is often constituted in implicit relations among the participants rather than elaborated and iterated explicit beliefs and desires; (3) and language



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,794

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Convention.Michael Rescorla - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Realer Institutional Reality: Deepening Searle’s (De)Ontology of Civilization.Molly Brigid Flynn - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):43-67.
A value-based argument model of convention degradation.Paul E. Dunne - 2005 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 13 (1):153-188.
Activity and Convention.Richard Alterman - 2008 - Topoi 27 (1-2):127-138.
Power and Social Ontology.Åsa Andersson - 2007 - Lund: Bokbox Publications.
Agreements, conventions, and language.Margaret Gilbert - 1983 - Synthese 54 (3):375 - 407.


Added to PP

192 (#72,794)

6 months
4 (#198,172)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Mark Bickhard
Lehigh University

Citations of this work

Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The interactivist model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2009 - Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
Emergence within social systems.Kenneth Silver - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7865-7887.
Game theory.Don Ross - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations