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The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences

New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2015)

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  1. Constructing persons: On the personal–subpersonal distinction.Mason Westfall - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (4):831-860.
    What’s the difference between those psychological posits that are ‘me” and those that are not? Distinguishing between these psychological kinds is important in many domains, but an account of what the distinction consists in is challenging. I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I suggest that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level – the plurality problem. The things that (...)
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  • Conceptual Confusions and Causal Dynamics.Patrizio Lo Presti - forthcoming - Phenomenology and Mind.
    This paper argues that rules and norms are conceptually distinct: what is norm is not thereby rule, and vice versa. Versions of conflating the two are discussed and an argument for distinction given. Two objections to the argument are responded to. It is accepted that rules and norms are often intimately related. They are so causally, not conceptually: what norms we live by can make a difference to what rules we accept and what rules we accept can make a difference (...)
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  • Naturalism, Quietism, and the Threat to Philosophy.Thomas J. Spiegel - 2021 - Basel: Schwabe Verlagsgruppe.
    Two opposed movements of thought threaten philosophy as an autonomous practice from the inside: scientific naturalism and quietism. Naturalism (qua methodological thesis) threatens to turn philosophy into a mere ancilla of the sciences, quietism understood as the prescription to remain silent in philosophy would not countenance any more "positive" philosophy. This book reconstructs naturalism and quietism such that it becomes clear naturalism does have the potential to end philosophy as an autonomous practice and that quietism, correctly understood, does not. To (...)
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  • Review of Social Goodness: On the Ontology of Social Norms, by Charlotte Witt. [REVIEW]Daniel Kelly & Katherine Ritchie - forthcoming - Mind.
    Charlotte Witt covers a remarkable amount of ground in this concise and elegantly written book. Coming in at under 150 pages, she artfully weaves together Aristotle’s theory of functions with contemporary work on cultural transmission and apprenticeship, ideas about self-creation with theories of aspiration and transformative experience, and reflections on the relationships among social norms and games with thoughts about social roles and the nature of hierarchy. At the heart of it is an elaboration and defense of a thoroughly externalist (...)
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  • A Metaphysics of Artifacts: Essence and Mind-Dependence.Tim Juvshik - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    My dissertation explores the nature of artifacts – things like chairs, tables, and pinball machines – and addresses the question of whether there is anything essential to being an artifact and a member of a particular artifact kind. My dissertation offers new arguments against both the anti-essentialist and current essentialist proposals. Roughly put, the view is that artifacts are successful products of an intention to make something with certain features constitutive of an artifact kind. The constitutive features are often functional (...)
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  • What Are Institutional Groups?Miguel Garcia-Godinez - 2020 - In Rachael Mellin, Raimo Tuomela & Miguel Garcia-Godinez (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 39-62.
    Following Tuomela, I argue that institutions consist in institutional activities conducive to the realisation (or “satisfaction”) of institutional activity types. Since this realisation is carried out by institutional groups, our having an answer to 'what are institutional groups?' is a necessary step towards a better understanding of what institutions are and how we create them. In this chapter, I offer an answer to this question.
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  • Robust Normativity, Morality, and Legal Positivism.David Plunkett - 2019 - In Toh Kevin, Plunkett David & Shapiro Scott (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 105-136.
    This chapter discusses two different issues about the relationship between legal positivism and robust normativity (understood as the most authoritative kind of normativity to which we appeal). First, the chapter argues that, in many contexts when discussing “legal positivism” and “legal antipositivism”, the discussion should be shifted from whether legal facts are ultimately partly grounded in moral facts to whether they are ultimately partly grounded in robustly normative facts. Second, the chapter explores an important difference within the kinds of arguments (...)
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  • Categorizing Art.Kiyohiro Sen - 2024 - Dissertation, University of Tokyo
    This dissertation examines the practice of categorizing works of art and its relationship to art criticism. How a work of art is categorized influences how it is appreciated and criticized. Being frightening is a merit for horror, but a demerit for lullabies. The brushstrokes in Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" (1874) look crude when seen as a Neoclassical painting, but graceful when seen as an Impressionist painting. Many of the judgments we make about artworks are category-dependent in this way, but previous research (...)
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  • Group agents and moral status: what can we owe to organizations?Adam Https://Orcidorg Lovett & Stefan Https://Orcidorg Riedener - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):221–238.
    Organizations have neither a right to the vote nor a weighty right to life. We need not enfranchise Goldman Sachs. We should feel few scruples in dissolving Standard Oil. But they are not without rights altogether. We can owe it to them to keep our promises. We can owe them debts of gratitude. Thus, we can owe some things to organizations. But we cannot owe them everything we can owe to people. They seem to have a peculiar, fragmented moral status. (...)
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  • Chains of Being: Infinite Regress, Circularity, and Metaphysical Explanation.Ross P. Cameron - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    'Chains of Being' argues that there can be infinite chains of dependence or grounding. Cameron also defends the view that there can be circular relations of ontological dependence or grounding, and uses these claims to explore issues in logic and ontology.
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  • Limits to levels in the methodological individualism–holism debate.Julie Zahle - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6435-6454.
    It is currently common to conceive of the classic methodological individualism–holism debate in level terms. Accordingly, the dispute is taken to concern the proper level of explanations in the social sciences. In this paper, I argue that the debate is not apt to be characterized in level terms. The reason is that widely adopted notions of individualist explanations do not qualify as individual-level explanations because they span multiple levels. I defend this claim relative to supervenience, emergence, and other accounts of (...)
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  • Limits to levels in the methodological individualism–holism debate.Julie Zahle - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6435-6454.
    It is currently common to conceive of the classic methodological individualism–holism debate in level terms. Accordingly, the dispute is taken to concern the proper level of explanations in the social sciences. In this paper, I argue that the debate is not apt to be characterized in level terms. The reason is that widely adopted notions of individualist explanations do not qualify as individual-level explanations because they span multiple levels. I defend this claim relative to supervenience, emergence, and other accounts of (...)
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  • When and why Conventions cannot Be Social Institutions.Vojtěch Zachník - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1235-1254.
    The paper focuses on the issue of compatibility of social institution and convention. At first, it introduces the modest account of conventionality building on five distinctive features – interdependence, arbitrariness, mind-independence, spontaneity, and normative-neutrality – which constitute conventional behaviour, then it presents the two major theories of social institutions that explain them in terms of rules, or equilibria. The argument is that conventions cover a wide-ranging area and cannot be identified with the category of institutions because it would be too (...)
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  • The Stage Theory of Groups.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):661-674.
    I propose a `stage theory’ of groups: a group is a fusion of group-stages, where a group-stage is a plurality of individuals at a world and a time. The stage theory consists of existence conditions, identity conditions, and parthood conditions for groups.
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  • Pluralities, counterparts, and groups.Isaac Wilhelm - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2133-2153.
    I formulate a theory of groups based on pluralities and counterparts: roughly put, a group is a plurality of entities at a time. This theory comes with counterpart-theoretic semantics for modal and temporal sentences about groups. So this theory of groups is akin to the stage theory of material objects: both take the items they analyze to exist at a single time, and both use counterparts to satisfy certain conditions relating to the modal properties, temporal properties, and coincidence properties of (...)
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  • Animales relacionales: la concepción heideggeriana del organismo biológico en los Grundbegriffe de 1929.Juan Vila - 2023 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 55 (165):3-26.
    En este trabajo ofrezco una interpretación de la concepción heideggeriana del organismo biológico presente en sus cursos de 1929. Para ello, primero enmarcaré la discusión dentro de la interpretación heideggeriana del naturalismo y su manera de entender la relación entre filosofía y ciencia. Luego, analizaré su interpretación de la embriología y la ecología mediante la cual Heidegger esboza aportes originales a la filosofía de la biología, especialmente en torno al problema de la identidad del organismo biológico. Finalmente, mostraré cómo esta (...)
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  • The ontology of social groups.Amie L. 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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  • The Band of Theseus: Social Individuals and Mental Files.Enrico Terrone - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (4-5):287-310.
    Social individuals are social entities having a distinctive individuality, often signaled by the use of a proper name to designate them. This article proposes an account of social individuals based on the notion of a mental file, understood as a repository of information about a single individual. First, I consider a variant of the puzzle of the ship of Theseus in which the object having problematic identity conditions is a social individual, namely, a rock band. Then, I argue that we (...)
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  • The Group Knobe Effect revisited: epistemic and doxastic side-effect effects in intuitive judgments concerning group agents.Maciej Tarnowski, Adrian Ziółkowski & Mieszko Tałasiewicz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-34.
    In this paper, we investigate the effect described in the literature as the Group Knobe Effect, which is an asymmetry in ascription of intentionality of negative and positive side-effects of an action performed by a group agent. We successfully replicate two studies originally conducted by Michael and Szigeti, who observed this effect and provide empirical evidence of the existence of two related effects—Group Epistemic and Doxastic Knobe Effects—which show analogous asymmetry with respect to knowledge and belief ascriptions. We explain how (...)
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  • Mapping higher-level causal efficacy.Horia Tarnovanu - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8533-8554.
    A central argument for non-reductive accounts of group agency is that complex social entities are capable of exerting causal influence independently of and superseding the causal efficacy of the individuals constituting them. A prominent counter is that non-reductionists run into an insuperable dilemma between identity and redundancy – with identity undermining independent higher-level efficacy and redundancy leading to overdetermination or exclusion. This paper argues that critics of non-reductionism can manage with a simpler and more persuasive reductio strategy called mapping: allow (...)
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  • Introduction: Empathy and Collective Intentionality—The Social Philosophy of Edith Stein.Thomas Szanto & Dermot Moran - 2015 - Human Studies 38 (4):445-461.
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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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  • Sociology and philosophy in the United States since the sixties: Death and resurrection of a folk action obstacle.Michael Strand - 2020 - Theory and Society 49 (1):101-150.
    This article uses participant objectivation in sociology and philosophy as two knowledge fields to provide a reflexive comparison of their synced field effect in historical circumstances. Drawing on the philosopher and historian of science Gaston Bachelard, I theorize fielded knowledge as a social relation that combines the prior presence of folk knowledge with a socioanalytic exchange between field and folk that includes positions of either defense, replacement or critique. A comparison of post-Wittgenstein Anglophone philosophy and post-sixties American sociology describes their (...)
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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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  • Organisations as Computing Systems.David Strohmaier - 2020 - 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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  • The Structures of Social Structural Explanation: Comments on Haslanger’s What is (Social) Structural Explanation?.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (50):173-199.
    In a recent paper (Haslanger 2016), Sally Haslanger argues for the importance of structural explanation. Roughly, a structural explana- tion of the behaviour of a given object appeals to features of the struc- tures—physical, social, or otherwise—the object is embedded in. It is opposed to individualistic explanations, where what is appealed to is just the object and its properties. For example, an individualistic explanation of why someone got the grade they did might appeal to features of the essay they wrote—its (...)
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  • Grounding Functionalism and Explanatory Unificationism.Alexios Stamatiadis-bréhier - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (4):799-819.
    In this essay, I propose a functionalist theory of grounding (functionalist-grounding). Specifically, I argue that grounding is a second-order phenomenon that is realized by relations that play the noncausal explanatoriness role. I also show that functionalist-grounding can deal with a powerful challenge. Appeals to explanatory unificationism have been made to argue that the success of noncausal explanations does not depend on the existence of grounding relations. Against this, I argue that a systematization involving functionalist-grounding is superior to its anti-relational counterpart.
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  • 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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  • Social construction as grounding; or: fundamentality for feminists, a reply to Barnes and Mikkola.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (10):2449-2465.
    Feminist metaphysics is guided by the insight that gender is socially constructed, yet the metaphysics behind social construction remains obscure. Barnes and Mikkola charge that current metaphysical frameworks—including my grounding framework—are hostile to feminist metaphysics. I argue that not only is a grounding framework hospitable to feminist metaphysics, but also that a grounding framework can help shed light on the metaphysics behind social construction. By treating social construction claims as grounding claims, the feminist metaphysician and the social ontologist both gain (...)
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  • Co‐Subjective Consciousness Constitutes Collectives.Michael Schmitz - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (1):137-160.
    In this paper I want to introduce and defend what I call the "subject mode account" of collective intentionality. I propose to understand collectives from joint attention dyads over small informal groups of various types to organizations, institutions and political entities such as nation states, in terms of their self-awareness. On the subject mode account, the self-consciousness of such collectives is constitutive for their being. More precisely, their self-representation as subjects of joint theoretical and practical positions towards the world – (...)
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  • Being a Believer: Social Identity in Post-truth Political Discourse.Moritz A. Schulz & Simon Scheller - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Analyses of so-called ‘post-truth’ discourse in populist politics have so far largely focussed on sorting it into cases of lying, bullshitting, bubble-like epistemic constraints, or alternative epistemic norms flouting objective truth. We review these proposals and point out problems with each. Some scholars, however, have recently drawn attention to how apparent assertions of facts in these contexts seem to be functionally entangled with expressing or affirming social identities. To get a clearer picture of what such an explanation might amount to, (...)
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  • Truth and objectivity in conceptual engineering.Sarah Sawyer - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1001-1022.
    Conceptual engineering is to be explained by appeal to the externalist distinction between concepts and conceptions. If concepts are determined by non-conceptual relations to objective properties rather than by associated conceptions (whether individual or communal), then topic preservation through semantic change will be possible. The requisite level of objectivity is guaranteed by the possibility of collective error and does not depend on a stronger level of objectivity, such as mind-independence or independence from linguistic or social practice more generally. This means (...)
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  • Optimism for Naturalized Social Metaphysics: A Reply to Hawley.Daniel Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):138-160.
    Metaphysics has undergone two major innovations in recent decades. First, naturalistic metaphysicians have argued that our best science provides an important source of evidence for metaphysical theories. Second, social metaphysicians have begun to explore the nature of social entities such as groups, institutions, and social categories. Surprisingly, these projects have largely kept their distance from one another. Katherine Hawley has recently argued that, unlike the natural sciences, the social sciences are not sufficiently successful to provide evidence about the metaphysical nature (...)
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  • A model-based approach to social ontology.Matti Sarkia - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 52 (3):175-203.
    This paper argues for theoretical modeling and model-construction as central types of activities that philosophers of social ontology engage in. This claim is defended through a detailed case study and revisionary interpretation of Raimo Tuomela’s account of the we-perspective. My interpretation is grounded in Ronald Giere’s account of scientific models, and argued to be compatible with, but less demanding than Tuomela’s own description of his account as a philosophical theory of the social world. My approach is also suggested to be (...)
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  • Money: What It Is and What It Should Be.Joakim Sandberg & Frank Hindriks - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):237-243.
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  • On the Relation between Institutional Statuses and Technical Artifacts: A Proposed Taxonomy of Social Kinds.Joshua Rust - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (5):704-722.
    Technical artifacts do not seem particularly continuous with institutional statuses. If statuses are defined in terms of their constitutive rules, as Searle maintains, then disassociation is always possible – someone or something can satisfy those rules without being able to realize the functional effects that are associated with that status. The gap between technical artifacts and Searlean statuses suggests the possibility of an additional social kind, which I call, following Muhammad Ali Khalidi, a ‘real social kind’. However, the placement of (...)
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  • Max Weber and Social Ontology.Joshua Rust - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (3):312-342.
    Key elements of John Searle’s articulation of the Standard Model of Social Ontology can be found within Max Weber’s ideal type of legal-rational authority. However, the fact that, for Weber, legal-rational authority is just one of three types of legitimate authority, along with traditional and charismatic authority, suggests limitations to the Standard Model’s scope of applicability. Where Searle takes himself to have provided an account of “the structure of human civilization,” Weber’s taxonomy suggests that Searle has only given us an (...)
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  • Social Ontology and Model-Building: A Response to Epstein.Nadia Ruiz - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):176-192.
    Brian Epstein has recently argued that a thoroughly microfoundationalist approach towards economics is unconvincing for metaphysical reasons. Generally, Epstein argues that for an improvement in the methodology of social science we must adopt social ontology as the foundation of social sciences; that is, the standing microfoundationalist debate could be solved by fixing economics’ ontology. However, as I show in this paper, fixing the social ontology prior to the process of model construction is optional instead of necessary and that metaphysical-ontological commitments (...)
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  • In defence of constitutive rules.Corrado Roversi - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14349-14370.
    Although the notion of constitutive rule has played an important role in the metaphysical debate in social and legal philosophy, several authors perceive it as somewhat mysterious and ambiguous: the idea of a specific kind of rules that are supposed to be “magically” constitutive of reality seems suspicious, more a rationalistic fiction than a genuine explanation. For these reasons, reductionist approaches have been put forward to deflate the explanatory role of this notion. In this paper, I will instead try to (...)
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  • 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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  • Social Groups Are Concrete Material Particulars.Kevin Richardson - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):468-483.
    It is natural to think that social groups are concrete material particulars, but this view faces an important objection. Suppose the chess club and nature club have the same members. Intuitively, these are different clubs even though they have a common material basis. Some philosophers take these intuitions to show that the materialist view must be abandoned. I propose an alternative explanation. Social groups are concrete material particulars, but there is a psychological explanation of nonidentity intuitions. Social groups appear coincident (...)
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  • New work for a theory of ground.Michael J. Raven - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):625-655.
    There has been much recent interest in a distinctively metaphysical kind of determinative explanation: ground. This paper concerns various skeptical challenges to ground’s relevance to metaphysics, such as that it is an empty posit, that the work it is supposed to do is appropriated by other notions, and that it is inapt for specific issues it should serve. I argue against these challenges. My strategy is both critical and constructive. Critical because I argue that versions of these challenges raised by (...)
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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 Social Construction Isn’t.Emilie Pagano - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1651-1670.
    Just as contemporary metaphysics, in general, is marked by an interest in ground, contemporary social metaphysics, in particular, is marked by an interest in social construction. It’s no surprise, then, that some contemporary metaphysicians have come to understand social construction in terms of ground. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake. In particular, I argue that any otherwise plausible account of construction as ground is objectionably revisionary. First, I discuss an argument for the view that construction is (...)
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  • Using a two-dimensional model from social ontology to explain the puzzling metaphysical features of words.Jared S. Oliphint - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-10.
    I argue that a two-dimensional model of social objects is uniquely positioned to deliver explanations for some of the puzzling metaphysical features of words. I consider how a type-token model offers explanations for the metaphysical features of words, but I give reasons to find the model wanting. In its place, I employ an alternative model from social ontology to explain the puzzling data and questions that are generated from the metaphysical features of words. In the end I chart a new (...)
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  • 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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  • Living without microphysical supervenience.Alex Moran - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):405-428.
    The Doctrine of Microphysical Supervenience states that microphysical duplicates cannot differ in their intrinsic properties. According to Merricks :59–71, 1998a, Objects and persons, Oxford University Press, 2001), however, this thesis is false, since microphysical duplicates can differ with respect to the intrinsic property of consciousness. In my view, Merricks’ argument is plausible, and extant attempts to reject it are problematic. However, the argument also threatens to make consciousness appear mysterious, by implying that consciousness facts fail to be microphysically determined and (...)
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  • On Grounds, Anchors, and Diseases: A Reply to Glackin.Alex James Miller Tate & Thomas Davies - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):428-437.
    Shane Glackin's 2019 Philosophical Quarterly article aims to offer a framework for understanding the philosophical debate about the nature of disease and utilise this framework to reply to several standard objections to normativist theories of disease. Specifically, Glackin claims his model avoids three central challenges to normativism, which we term the ‘Flippancy Problem’, ‘Repugnancy Problem’, and the ‘Explanatory Problem’. Although we find Glackin's framework helpful in clarifying the terrain of the debate, we argue these three challenges continue to afflict his (...)
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  • Grounding and anchoring: on the structure of Epstein’s social ontology.Mari Mikkola - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):198-216.
    ABSTRACTBrian Epstein’s The Ant Trap is a praiseworthy addition to literature on social ontology and the philosophy of social sciences. Its central aim is to challenge received views about the social world – views with which social scientists and philosophers have aimed to answer questions about the nature of social science and about those things that social sciences aim to model and explain, like social facts, objects and phenomena. The received views that Epstein critiques deal with these issues in an (...)
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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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