Social Space and the Ontology of Recognition

In Heikki Ikäheimo Arto Laitinen (ed.), Recognition and Social Ontology. Brill Books (pp. 287-308) (2011)
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In this paper recognition is taken to be a question of social ontology, regarding the very constitution of the social space of interaction. I concentrate on the question of whether certain aspects of the theory of recognition can be translated into the terms of a socio-ontological paradigm: to do so, I make reference to some conceptual tools derived from John Searle's social ontology and Robert Brandom's normative pragmatics. My strategy consists in showing that recognitive phenomena cannot be isolated at the level of human interaction, and are, rather, in part proper to animal interaction as well. Furthermore, it is argued that recognitive powers are constitutive powers more basic than deontic ones and play a role much broader than the one they in fact assume in Searle and in Brandom.

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Italo Testa
University of Parma


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