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  1. The Importance of Realism about Gender Kinds: Lessons from Beauvoir.Theodore Bach - 2023 - Analyse & Kritik 45 (2):269-295.
    Beauvoir’s The Second Sex stands out as a master class in the accommodation of conceptual and inferential practices to real, objective gender kinds. Or so I will argue. To establish this framing, we will first need in hand the kind of scientific epistemology that correctly reconciles epistemic progress and error, particularly as pertains to the unruly social sciences. An important goal of the paper is to develop that epistemological framework and unlock its ontological implications for the domain of gender. As (...)
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  2. Inductive Reasoning Involving Social Kinds.Barrett Emerick & Tyler Hildebrand - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.
    Most social policies cannot be defended without making inductive inferences. For example, consider certain arguments for racial profiling and affirmative action, respectively. They begin with statistics about crime or socioeconomic indicators. Next, there is an inductive step in which the statistic is projected from the past to the future. Finally, there is a normative step in which a policy is proposed as a response in the service of some goal—for example, to reduce crime or to correct socioeconomic imbalances. In comparison (...)
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  3. From Periodic Decline to Permanent Rebirth: Alexander Raven Thomson on Civilization, Pathology, and Violence.Rory Lawrence Phillips - 2022 - Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence 6 (2):37-52.
    Alexander Raven Thomson was a British fascist philosopher, active from 1932 to 1955. I outline Thomson’s Spenglerian views on civilization and decline. I argue that Thomson in his first book is an orthodox Spenglerian who accepts that decline is inevitable and thinks that it is morally required to destroy civilization in its final stages. I argue that this suffers from conceptual issues which may have caused Thomson’s change to a revised form of Spenglerianism, which is more authentically fascist. This authentically (...)
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  4. Conditional Intentions and Shared Agency.Matthew Rachar - 2023 - Noûs (1):271-288.
    Shared agency is a distinctive kind of sociality that involves interdependent planning, practical reasoning, and action between participants. Philosophical reflection suggests that agents engage in this form of sociality when a special structure of interrelated psychological attitudes exists between them, a set of attitudes that constitutes a collective intention. I defend a new way to understand collective intention as a combination of individual conditional intentions. Revising an initial statement of the conditional intention account in response to several challenges leads to (...)
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  5. Ethics of vaccine refusal.Michael Kowalik - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (4):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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  6. Social Kinds: A User's Manual.Francesco Franda - 2022 - Dissertation, University at Buffalo
    This is a dissertation in social ontology, whose goal is to defend a constructivist account of social kinds. First, I show how there is no fully satisfactory characterization or definition of the social, but that we can rely on an intuitive understanding on which entities count as social entities. Second, I clarify what I mean by ‘social category’ or ‘social kind,’ which I define as a partition of entities that bear and share certain social properties. Third, I argue against what (...)
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  7. Corporate Identity.Mihailis E. Diamantis - 2022 - In Experimental Philosophy of Identity and the Self. New York: pp. 203-216.
    Any effort to specify identity conditions for corporations faces significant challenges. Corporations are amorphous. Nature draws no hard lines defining where they start or stop, whether in space or time. Corporations are also frustratingly dynamic. They often change the most basic aspects of their composition by exchanging parts, splitting and merging, changing ownership, and reworking fundamental internal operations. -/- Even so, we apply corporate identity conditions all the time. Both law and common intuition recognize that corporations do things—like pollute environments (...)
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  8. Conventions and Status Functions.Marija Jankovic & Kirk Ludwig - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (2):89-111.
    We argue that there is a variety of convention, effective coordinating agreement, that has not been adequately identified in the literature. Its distinctive feature is that it is a structure of conditional we-intentions of parties, unlike more familiar varieties of convention, which are structures of expectations and preferences or obligations. We argue that status functions constitutively involve this variety of convention, and that what is special about it explains, and gives precise content to the central feature of status functions, namely, (...)
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  9. 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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  10. Intersection Is Not Identity, or How to Distinguish Overlapping Systems of Injustice.Robin Dembroff - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Amia Srinivasan (eds.), New Conversations in Philosophy, Law, and Politics. Oxford University Press.
    When one takes an intersectional perspective on patterns of oppression and domination, it becomes clear that familiar forms of systemic injustice, such as misogyny and anti-Black racism, are inseparable. Some feminist theorists conclude, from this, that the systems behind these injustices cannot be individuated—for example, that there isn’t patriarchy and white supremacy, but instead only white supremacist patriarchy. This chapter offers a different perspective. Philosophers have long observed that a statue and a lump of clay can be individuated although inseparable, (...)
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  11. Eliminating Group Agency.Lars J. K. Moen - 2023 - Economics and Philosophy 39 (1):43-66.
    Aggregating individuals’ consistent attitudes might produce inconsistent collective attitudes. Some groups therefore need the capacity to form attitudes that are irreducible to those of their members. Such groups, group-agent realists argue, are agents in control of their own attitude formation. In this paper, however, I show how group-agent realism overlooks the important fact that groups consist of strategically interacting agents. Only by eliminating group agency from our social explanations can we see how individuals vote strategically to gain control of their (...)
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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Ontology of Social Domains, Misc
  1. Vad är en grupp?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2023 - Svensk Filosofi.
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  2. The Truth about Social Entities.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2023 - In Andrés Garcia, Mattias Gunnemyr & Jakob Werkmäster (eds.), Value, Morality & Social Reality. Lund, Sweden: Media-Tryck, Lund University. pp. 483-497.
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  3. Kinds of Kinds: Normativity, Scope and Implementation in Conceptual Engineering.Sarah Sawyer - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Synthese Library.
    In this paper I distinguish three kinds of kinds: traditional philosophical kinds such as truth, knowledge, and causation; natural science kinds such as spin, charge and mass; and social kinds such as class, poverty, and marriage. The three-fold taxonomy I work with represents an idealised abstraction from the wide variety of kinds that there are and the messy phenomena that underlie them. However, the kinds I identify are discrete, and the three-fold taxonomy is useful when it comes to understanding claims (...)
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  4. Two-Dimensional Theories of Art.Thomas N. P. A. Brouwer - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    What determines whether an object is an artwork? In this paper I consider what I will call ‘social’ theories of art, according to which the arthood of objects depends in some way on the art-related social practices that we have. Though such a dependence claim is plausible in principle, social theories of art tend to unpack the determining link between artworks and social practices in terms of intentional relations between the objects in question and the people involved in the relevant (...)
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  5. An Institutional Theory of Art Categories.Kiyohiro Sen - 2022 - Debates in Aesthetics 18 (1):31-43.
    It is widely acknowledged that categories play significant roles in the appreciation of artworks. This paper argues that the correct categories of artworks are institutionally established through social processes. Section 1 examines the candidates for determining correct categories and proposes that this question should shift the focus from category membership to appreciative behaviour associated with categories. Section 2 draws on Francesco Guala’s theory of institutions to show that categories of artworks are established as rules-in-equilibrium. Section 3 reviews the explanatory benefits (...)
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  6. Biological Explanations of Social Inequalities.Dan Lowe - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (4):694-719.
    Inequalities of social goods between gender, racial, or other groups call out for explanation. Such inequalities might be explained by socialization and discrimination. But historically some have attributed these inequalities to biological differences between social groups. Such explanations are highly controversial: on the one hand, they have a very troubling racist and sexist history, but on the other hand, they are empirical claims, and so it seems inappropriate to rule them out a priori. I propose that the appropriate epistemic attitude (...)
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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.
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  17. 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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  18. Are there any Institutional Facts?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2019 - In Tobias Hansson Wahlberg & Robin Stenwall (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. pp. 83-88.
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  19. The Genuine Possibility of Being-with: Watsuji, Heidegger, and the Primacy of Betweenness.Carolyn Culbertson - 2019 - Tandf: Comparative and Continental Philosophy 11 (1):7-18.
    Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2019, Page 7-18.
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  20. Collective Intentionality in Non-Human Animals.Robert A. Wilson - 2017 - In Marija Jankovic and Kirk Ludwig (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality. New York, NY, USA: pp. 420-432.
    I think there is something to be said in a positive and constructive vein about collective intentionality in non-human animals. Doing so involves probing at the concept of collective intentionality fairly directly (Section 2), considering the various forms that collective intentionality might take (Section 3), showing some sensitivity to the history of appeals to that concept and its close relatives (Section 4), and raising some broader questions about the relationships between sociality, cognition, and institutions by discussing two different possible cases (...)
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  21. What is a Family? Considerations on Purpose, Biology, and Sociality.Laura Wildemann Kane - 2019 - Public Affairs Quarterly 33 (1):65-88.
    There are many different interpretations of what the family should be – its desired member composition, its primary purpose, and its cultural significance – and many different examples of what families actually look like across the globe. I examine the most paradigmatic conceptions of the family that are based upon the supposed primary purpose that the family serves for its members and for the state. I then suggest that we ought to reconceptualize how we understand and define the family in (...)
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  22. Repeatable Artworks and the Relevant Similarity Relation.Sherri Irvin - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 52 (2):30.
    Repeatable artworks, such as novels and musical works, have often been construed as universals whose instances are particular printings or performances. In Art and Art-Attempts, Christy Mag Uidhir offers a nominalist account of repeatable artworks, eschewing talk of universals. Mag Uidhir argues that all artworks are concrete, and artworks that we regard as repeatable are simply unified by a relevant similarity relation: we use the name Beloved to refer to two concrete printed novels because they are relevantly similar to each (...)
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  23. Introduction to the Symposium on Christy Mag Uidhir's Art and Art-Attempts.Sherri Irvin - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 52 (2):1.
    Christy Mag Uidhir’s Art and Art-Attempts begins from two deceptively simple observations: artworks are the product of intentions, and intentions are the kinds of things that can fail to be realized successfully. Drawing on these observations, he argues that most contemporary theories of art must be rejected because they are not substantively intention-dependent: that is, they do not account for the fact that an attempt to make an artwork can fail. From his view that artworks must be the product of (...)
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  24. Reason or Art? (Review of Charles Taylor’s Modern Social Imaginaries). [REVIEW]Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (1):183-85.
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  25. Practice and Sociality.Jo-Jo Koo - 2005 - In Georg W. Bertram, Stefan Blank, Christophe Laudou & David Lauer (eds.), Intersubjectivité et pratique: Contributions à l’étude des pragmatismes dans la philosophie contemporaine. L'Harmattan. pp. 57-74.
    In recent years a growing number of philosophers in the analytic tradition have focused their attention on the significance of human sociality. An older point of departure of analysis, which actually precedes this current tide of accounts of sociality, has revolved around the debate between “holism” and “individualism” in the philosophy of the human or social sciences and social theory. The more recent point of departure for various accounts of sociality has centered on the nature of conventions, social groups, shared (...)
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  26. An Ontological Approach to Territorial Disputes.Neil Otte, Brian Donohue & Barry Smith - 2014 - In Semantic Technology in Intelligence, Defense and Security (STIDS), CEUR, vol. 1304. CEUR. pp. 2-9.
    Disputes over territory are a major contributing factor to the disruption of international relations. We believe that a cumulative, integrated, and continuously updated resource providing information about such disputes in an easily accessible form would be of benefit to intelligence analysts, military strategists, political scientists, and also to historians and others concerned with international disputes. We propose an ontology-based strategy for creating such a resource. The resource will contain information about territorial disputes, arguments for and against claims pertaining to sovereignty, (...)
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  27. Social Objects Without Intentions.Brian Epstein - 2013 - In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. pp. 53-68.
    It is often seen as a truism that social objects and facts are the product of human intentions. I argue that the role of intentions in social ontology is commonly overestimated. I introduce a distinction that is implicit in much discussion of social ontology, but is often overlooked: between a social entity’s “grounds” and its “anchors.” For both, I argue that intentions, either individual or collective, are less essential than many theorists have assumed. Instead, I propose a more worldly – (...)
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  28. Beyond Paper.David Koepsell & Barry Smith - 2014 - The Monist 97 (2):222–235.
    The authors outline the way in which documents as social objects have evolved from their earliest forms to the electronic documents of the present day. They note that while certain features have remained consistent, processes regarding document authentication are seriously complicated by the easy reproducibility of digital entities. The authors argue that electronic documents also raise significant questions concerning the theory of ‘documentality’ advanced by Maurizio Ferraris, especially given the fact that interactive documents seem to blur the distinctions between the (...)
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  29. Document Acts.Barry Smith - 2014 - In Anita Konzelmann-Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. Springer. pp. 19-31.
    The theory of document acts is an extension of the more traditional theory of speech acts advanced by Austin and Searle. It is designed to do justice to the ways in which documents can be used to bring about a variety of effects in virtue of the fact that, where speech is evanescent, documents are continuant entities. This means that documents can be preserved in such a way that they can be inspected and modified at successive points in time and (...)
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  30. Universal Core Semantic Layer.Barry Smith, Lowell Vizenor & James Schoening - 2009 - In Ontology for the Intelligence Community: Proceedings of the Third OIC Conference. CEUR, vol. 555. pp. 1-5.
    The Universal Core (UCore) is a central element of the National Information Sharing Strategy that is supported by multiple U.S. Federal Government Departments, by the intelligence community, and by a number of other national and international institutions. The goal of the UCore initiative is to foster information sharing by means of an XML schema providing consensus representations for four groups of universally understood terms under the headings who, what, when, and where. We here describe a project to create an ontology-based (...)
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  31. Objects and their environments: From Aristotle to ecological ontology.Barry Smith - 2001 - In Andrew U. Frank, Jonathan Raper & Jean-Paul Cheylan (eds.), The Life and Motion of Socio-Economic Units. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 79-97.
    What follows is a contribution to the theory of space and of spatial objects. It takes as its starting point the philosophical subfield of ontology, which can be defined as the science of what is: of the various types and categories of objects and relations in all realms of being. More specifically, it begins with ideas set forth by Aristotle in his Categories and Metaphysics, two works which constitute the first great contributions to ontological science. Because Aristotle’s ontological ideas were (...)
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  32. Persons, social agency, and constitution.Robert A. Wilson - 2005 - Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (2):49-69.
    In her recent book Persons and Bodies1, Lynne Rudder Baker has defended what she calls the constitution view of persons. On this view, persons are constituted by their bodies, where “constitution” is a ubiquitous, general metaphysical relation distinct from more familiar relations, such as identity and part-whole composition.
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