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  1. Replies to Hawley, Mikkola, and Hindriks.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):230-246.
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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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  • Comments on Brian Epstein’s The Ant Trap.Katherine Hawley - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):217-229.
    ABSTRACTThe Ant Trap is a terrific book, which opens up new opportunities to use philosophical methods in the social realm, by drawing on the tools and techniques of contemporary metaphysics. Epstein uses concepts of dependence, constitution, and grounding, of parts and whole, of membership and kindhood, both to clarify existing accounts of social reality and to develop an account of his own. Whilst I admire the general strategy, I take issue with some aspects of Epstein’s implementation, notably his distinction between (...)
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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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  • Biko on Non-White and Black: Improving Social Reality.Brian Epstein - 2018 - In George Hull (ed.), Debating African Philosophy: Perspectives on Identity, Decolonial Ethics and Comparative Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 97-117.
    This paper examines Steve Biko’s distinction between black and non-white as a project in the “amelioration” of social concepts and categories. Biko himself—it has been persuasively argued by Mabogo More and Lewis Gordon—writes in the tradition of existential phenomenology. More and Gordon explore Biko’s continuity with Frantz Fanon, and in this paper I draw on their interpretations, attempting to complement and elaborate on these continuities. I also, however, attempt to show how Biko moves beyond Fanon in crucial ways, solving problems (...)
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  • The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Concept of Law is one of the most influential texts in English-language jurisprudence. 50 years after its first publication its relevance has not diminished and in this third edition, Leslie Green adds an introduction that places the book in a contemporary context, highlighting key questions about Hart's arguments and outlining the main debates it has prompted in the field. The complete text of the second edition is replicated here, including Hart's Postscript, with fully updated notes to include modern references (...)
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  • The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences.Brian Epstein - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    We live in a world of crowds and corporations, artworks and artifacts, legislatures and languages, money and markets. These are all social objects — they are made, at least in part, by people and by communities. But what exactly are these things? How are they made, and what is the role of people in making them? In The Ant Trap, Brian Epstein rewrites our understanding of the nature of the social world and the foundations of the social sciences. Epstein explains (...)
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  • Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
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  • Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
    A number of philosophers have recently become receptive to the idea that, in addition to scientific or causal explanation, there may be a distinctive kind of metaphysical explanation, in which explanans and explanandum are connected, not through some sort of causal mechanism, but through some constitutive form of determination. I myself have long been sympathetic to this idea of constitutive determination or ‘ontological ground’; and it is the aim of the present paper to help put the idea on a firmer (...)
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  • Custom as a Source of Law.David J. Bederman - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    A central puzzle in jurisprudence has been the role of custom in law. Custom is simply the practices and usages of distinctive communities. But are such customs legally binding? Can custom be law, even before it is recognized by authoritative legislation or precedent? And, assuming that custom is a source of law, what are its constituent elements? Is proof of a consistent and long-standing practice sufficient, or must there be an extra ingredient - that the usage is pursued out of (...)
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  • The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
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  • Grounding, Explanation, and the Limit of Internality.Jon Erling Litland - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (4):481-532.
    Most authors on metaphysical grounding have taken full grounding to be an internal relation in the sense that it's necessary that if the grounds and the grounded both obtain, then the grounds ground the grounded. The negative part of this essay exploits empirical and provably nonparadoxical self-reference to prove conclusively that even immediate full grounding isn't an internal relation in this sense. The positive, second part of this essay uses the notion of a “completely satisfactory explanation” to shed light on (...)
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  • Nondescriptionality and Natural Kind Terms.Barbara Abbott - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (3):269 - 291.
    The phrase "natural kind term" has come into the linguistic and philosophical literature in connection with well-known work of Kripke (1972) and Putnam (1970, 1975a). I use that phrase here in the sense it has acquired from those and subseqnent works on related topics. This is not the transparent sense of the phrase. That is, if I am right in what follows there are words for kinds of things existing in nature which are not natural kind terms in the current (...)
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  • Simple Words and Subtle Things: Social Kinds and the Making of Reference.Brian Epstein - 2004 - Dissertation, Stanford University
    It seems to be a fact about language that people carry on competent and intelligent conversations, day to day, without being able to explain the words they're using. People don't have definitions, even tacit ones, for their words. This is possible in part because language users live in a social network, relying on one another as well as the structure of the world, which takes the burden of definition off the shoulders of the ordinary language user. ;Still, even simple words (...)
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  • Putnam on Artifacts.Stephen P. Schwartz - 1978 - Philosophical Review 87 (4):566-574.
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  • Referring to Artifacts.Hilary Kornblith - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (1):109-114.
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  • Natural Kinds and Nominal Kinds.Stephen P. Schwartz - 1980 - Mind 89 (354):182-195.
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