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  1. Lynne Rudder Baker (2003). Review of Objects and Persons, by Trenton Merricks. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):597 – 598.
    Book Information Objects and Persons. Objects and Persons Trenton Merricks . Oxford: Clarendon Press , 2001 , pp. xii + 203 , £30 ( cloth ), £14.99 ( paper ) . By Trenton Merricks. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pp. xii + 203. £30 (cloth:), £14.99 (paper:).
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  2. Lynne Rudder Baker, Philosophy in Mediis Rebus.
    So, let us begin in the middle of things. There are two senses in which I think that philosophy must begin in the middle of things: The first is epistemological: I think that the Cartesian ideal of finding an absolute starting point without any presuppositions is illusory. The most that we can do is to be aware of our presuppositions; we cannot eliminate them. Wherever we choose to start, we are in the middle of things epistemologically. The second way in (...)
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  3. Yuri Balashov (2012). Do Composite Objects Have an Age in Relativistic Spacetime? Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):9-23.
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  4. David Barnett (2005). The Problem of Material Origins. Noûs 39 (3):529–540.
    Saul Kripke has convinced many of us that material things have their material origins essentially. Plutarch, through his Ship of Theseus story, has convinced many of us that material things can sometimes survive gradual replacements of their material parts, that they are materially nonrigid. By way of a series of counterexamples, I will argue that any attempt to specify what in particular is essential about material origins will founder on the phenomenon of material non-rigidity.
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  5. Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2011). Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects. In. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. 143--159.
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  6. R. W. Fischer (2009). Ordinary Objects. By Amy L. Thomasson. Metaphilosophy 40 (2):296-302.
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  7. Robert K. Garcia (2014). Bundle Theory's Black Box: Gap Challenges for the Bundle Theory of Substance. Philosophia 42 (1):115-126.
    My aim in this article is to contribute to the larger project of assessing the relative merits of different theories of substance. An important preliminary step in this project is assessing the explanatory resources of one main theory of substance, the so-called bundle theory. This article works towards such an assessment. I identify and explain three distinct explanatory challenges an adequate bundle theory must meet. Each points to a putative explanatory gap, so I call them the Gap Challenges. I consider (...)
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  8. Susan A. Gelman (2013). Artifacts and Essentialism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):449-463.
    Psychological essentialism is an intuitive folk belief positing that certain categories have a non-obvious inner “essence” that gives rise to observable features. Although this belief most commonly characterizes natural kind categories, I argue that psychological essentialism can also be extended in important ways to artifact concepts. Specifically, concepts of individual artifacts include the non-obvious feature of object history, which is evident when making judgments regarding authenticity and ownership. Classic examples include famous works of art (e.g., the Mona Lisa is authentic (...)
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  9. Eli Hirsch (2010). Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology. Oxford University Press.
    A sense of unity -- Basic objects : a reply to Xu -- Objectivity without objects -- The vagueness of identity -- Quantifier variance and realism -- Against revisionary ontology -- Comments on Theodore Sider's four dimensionalism -- Sosa's existential relativism -- Physical-object ontology, verbal disputes, and common sense -- Ontological arguments : interpretive charity and quantifier variance -- Language, ontology, and structure -- Ontology and alternative languages.
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  10. Ross Inman (2014). Neo-Aristotelian Plenitude. Philosophical Studies 168 (3):583-597.
    Plenitude, roughly, the thesis that for any non-empty region of spacetime there is a material object that is exactly located at that region, is often thought to be part and parcel of the standard Lewisian package in the metaphysics of persistence. While the wedding of plentitude and Lewisian four-dimensionalism is a natural one indeed, there are a hand-full of dissenters who argue against the notion that Lewisian four-dimensionalism has exclusive rights to plentitude. These ‘promiscuous’ three-dimensionalists argue that a temporalized version (...)
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  11. Noa Latham (2002). Spatiotemporal and Spatial Particulars. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):17-35.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a classification of particulars in terms of their relations to spatiotemporal and spatial regions. It begins with an examination of spatiotemporal particulars, and then explores the extent to which a parallel account can be offered of continuants, or spatial particulars that can endure and change over time, assuming such particulars exist. For every spatial particular there are spatiotemporal particulars that can be described as its life and parts thereof. But not every time-slice (...)
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  12. Øystein Linnebo (2005). To Be is to Be an F. Dialectica 59 (2):201–222.
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  13. E. J. Lowe (2007). Sortals and the Individuation of Objects. Mind and Language 22 (5):514–533.
    It has long been debated whether objects are ‘sortally’ individuated. This paper begins by clarifying some of the key terms in play—in particular, ‘sortal’, ‘individuation’, and ‘object’. The term ‘individuation’ is taken to have both a cognitive and a metaphysical sense, in the former denoting the singling out of an object in thought and in the latter a determination relation between entities. ‘Sortalism’ is defined as the doctrine that only as falling under some specific sortal concept can an object be (...)
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  14. E. J. Lowe (1998). Entity, Identity and Unity. Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):191-208.
    I propose a fourfold categorisation of entities according to whether or not they possess determinate identity-conditions and whether or not they are determinately countable. Some entities – which I call ‘individual objects’ – have both determinate identity and determinate countability: for example, persons and animals. In the case of entities of a kind K belonging to this category, we are in principle always entitled to expect there to be determinate answers to such questions as ‘Is x the same K as (...)
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  15. Trenton Merricks (2003). Objects and Persons. Clarendon Press.
    Objects and Persons presents an original theory about what kinds of things exist. Trenton Merricks argues that there are no non-living inanimate macrophysical objects -- no statues or rocks or chairs or stars -- because they would have no causal role over and above the causal role of their microphysical parts. Humans do exist: we have non-redundant causal powers. Along the way, Merricks has interesting things to say about mental causation, free will, and various philosophical puzzles. Anyone working in metaphysics (...)
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  16. Alyssa Ney (2014). Metaphysics: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics , connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics An introduction to ontologyobjects Material objects Critiques of metaphysics Free Will Time Modality Persistence Causation Social ontology: the metaphysics of race This outstanding book not only equips the reader (...)
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  17. Anthony Quinton (1973). The Nature of Things. Boston,Routledge and Kegan Paul.
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  18. Sydney Shoemaker (2012). 8. Coincidence Through Thick and Thin. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:227.
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  19. Sydney Shoemaker (1969). Book Review. Material Objects. W. D. Joske. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 18 (73):370-72.
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  20. Theodore Sider (2001). Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time. Oxford University Press.
    Four-Dimensionalism defends the thesis that the material world is composed of temporal as well as spatial parts. This defense includes a novel account of persistence over time, new arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology, and responses to the challenges four-dimensionalism faces." "Theodore Sider pays particular attention to the philosophy of time, including a strong series of arguments against presentism, the thesis that only the present is real. Arguments offered in favour of four-dimensionalism include novel arguments based on time travel, (...)
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  21. Thomas H. Smith (2005). What is the Hallé? Philosophical Papers 34 (1):75-109.
    I address what I call the Number Issue, which is raised by our ordinary talk and beliefs about certain social groups and institutions, and I take the Hallé orchestra as my example. The Number Issue is that of whether the Hallé is one individual or several individuals. I observe that if one holds that it is one individual, one faces an accusation of metaphysical extravagance. The bulk of the paper examines the difficulty of reconciling the view that the Hallé is (...)
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  22. Mark Steen (2008). Chisholm's Changing Conception of Ordinary Objects. Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1):1-56.
    Roderick Chisholm changed his mind about ordinary objects. Circa 1973-1976, his analysis of them required the positing of two kinds of entities—part-changing ens successiva and non-part-changing, non-scatterable primary objects. This view has been well noted and frequently discussed (e.g., recently in Gallois 1998 and Sider 2001). Less often treated is his later view of ordinary objects (1986-1989), where the two kinds of posited entities change, from ens successiva to modes, and, while retaining primary objects, he now allows them to survive (...)
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  23. P. F. Strawson (1959/1963). Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics. Routledge.
    The classic, influential essay in 'descriptive metaphysics' by the distinguished English philosopher.
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  24. Amie L. Thomasson (2010). The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  25. Jason Turner (2011). Ontological Nihilism. In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 3-54.
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Artifacts
  1. Lynne Rudder Baker, Shrinking Difference—Response to Replies.
    Amie Thomasson and I are in agreement about artifacts, in particular about the existential dependence of artifacts on human intentions. Thomasson says, “Since the very idea of an artifact is of something mind-dependent in certain ways, accepting mindindependence as an across-the-board criterion for existence gives us no reason to deny the existence of artifacts; it merely begs the question against them.” I agree entirely.
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  2. Lynne Rudder Baker (2009). The Metaphysics of Malfunction. Techne 13 (2):82-92.
    Any artefact – a hammer, a telescope, an artificial hip – may malfunction. Conceptually speaking, artefacts have an inherent normative aspect. I argue that the normativity of artefacts should be understood as part of reality, and not just “in our concepts.” I first set out Deflationary Views of artefacts, according to which there are no artefactual properties, just artefactual concepts. According to my contrasting view – the Constitution View – there are artefactual properties that things in the world really have. (...)
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  3. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects. American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers.
    Artifacts are objects intentionally made to serve a given purpose; natural objects come into being without human intervention. I shall argue that this difference does not signal any ontological deficiency in artifacts qua artifacts. After sketching my view of artifacts as ordinary objects, I’ll argue that ways of demarcating genuine substances do not draw a line with artifacts on one side and natural objects on the other. Finally, I’ll suggest that philosophers have downgraded artifacts because they think of metaphysics as (...)
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  4. Lynne Rudder Baker (2007). The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism. Cambridge University Press.
    Lynne Rudder Baker presents and defends a unique account of the material world: the Constitution View. In contrast to leading metaphysical views that take everyday things to be either non-existent or reducible to micro-objects, the Constitution View construes familiar things as irreducible parts of reality. Although they are ultimately constituted by microphysical particles, everyday objects are neither identical to, nor reducible to, the aggregates of microphysical particles that constitute them. The result is genuine ontological diversity: people, bacteria, donkeys, mountains and (...)
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  5. Lynne Rudder Baker (2006). On the Twofold Nature of Artefacts. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):132-136.
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  6. Lynne Rudder Baker (2006). On the Twofold Nature of Artefacts: As Response to Wybo Houkes and Anthonie Meijers, “The Ontology of Artefacts: The Hard Problem”. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 37:132-136.
    “Form follows function,” the slogan of modernist architecture, could well be a slogan of artefacts generally. Since the choice of material for a tool is guided by the function of the tool, we may be tempted to think that having a functional nature distinguishes artefacts from natural objects. But that would be a mistake. Certain natural objects—especially biological entities like mammalian hearts—have functional natures too.
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  7. Lynne Rudder Baker (2004). The Ontology of Artifacts. Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):99 – 111.
    Beginning with Aristotle, philosophers have taken artifacts to be ontologically deficient. This paper proposes a theory of artifacts, according to which artifacts are ontologically on a par with other material objects. I formulate a nonreductive theory that regards artifacts as constituted by - but not identical to - aggregates of particles. After setting out the theory, I rebut a number of arguments that disparage the ontological status of artifacts.
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  8. Tibor Bárány (2013). “This is Not Art” — Should We Go Revisionist About Works of Art? Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 5:86-99.
    To propose a revisionist ontology of art one has to hold that our everyday intuitions about the identity and persistence conditions of various kinds of artworks can be massively mistaken. In my presentation I defend this view: our everyday intuitions about the nature of art can be (and sometimes are) mistaken. First I reconstruct an influential argument of Amie L. Thomasson (2004; 2005; 2006; 2007a; 2007b) against the fallibility of our intuitive judgments about the identity and persistence conditions of various (...)
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  9. Christoph Baumberger & Georg Brun (2012). Identities of Artefacts. Theoria 78 (1):47-74.
    In non-philosophical discourse, “identity” is often used when the specific character of artefacts is described or evaluated. We argue that this usage of “identity” can be explicated as referring to the symbol properties of artefacts as they are conceptualized in the symbol theory of Goodman and Elgin. This explication is backed by an analysis of various uses of “identity”. The explicandum clearly differs from the concepts of numerical identity, qualitative identity and essence, but it has a range of similarities with (...)
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  10. Paul Bloom (2000). Young Children Are Sensitive to How an Object Was Created When Deciding What to Name It. Cognition 76 (2):91-103.
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  11. Paul Bloom (1996). Intention, History, and Artifact Concepts. Cognition 60 (1):1-29.
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  12. Stefano Borgo, Riichiro Mizoguchi & Barry Smith (2011). On the Ontology of Functions. Applied Ontology 6 (2):99-104.
    This special issue of Applied Ontology is devoted to the foundation, the comparison and the application of functional theories in all areas, with particular attention to the biological and engineering domains. It includes theoretical and technical contributions related to the description, characterization, and application of functions.
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  13. Michael B. Burke (1994). Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
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  14. Massimiliano Carrara & Daria Mingardo (2013). Artifact Categorization. Trends and Problems. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):351-373.
    The general question (G) How do we categorize artifacts? can be subject to three different readings: an ontological, an epistemic and a semantic one. According to the ontological reading, asking (G) is equivalent to asking in virtue of what properties, if any, a certain artifact is an instance of some artifact kind: (O) What is it for an artifact a to belong to kind K? According to the epistemic reading, when we ask (G) we are investigating what properties of the (...)
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  15. Massimiliano Carrara & Marzia Soavi (2008). Ontology for Information Systems: Artefacts as a Case Study. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 7 (2):143-156.
    The goal of the paper is to analyse some specific features of a very central concept for top-level ontologies for information systems: i.e. the concept of artefact. Specifically, we analyse the relation to be a copy of that is strongly linked to the notion of artefact and—as we will demonstrate—could be useful to distinguish artefacts from objects of other kinds. Firstly, we outline some intuitive and commonsensical reasons for the need of a clarification of the notion of artefact in ontologies (...)
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  16. Wesley D. Cray (2014). Conceptual Art, Ideas, and Ontology. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3):235-245.
    Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens have recently articulated the Idea Idea, the thesis that “in conceptual art, there is no physical medium: the medium is the idea.” But what is an idea, and in the case of works such as Duchamp's Fountain, how does the idea relate to the urinal? In answering these questions, it becomes apparent that the Idea Idea should be rejected. After showing this, I offer a new ontology of conceptual art, according to which such artworks are (...)
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  17. Rafael De Clercq (2013). The Metaphysics of Art Restoration. British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (3):261-275.
    Art restorations often give rise to controversy, and the reason does not always seem to be a lack of skill or dedication on the side of the restorer. Rather, in some of the most famous cases, the reason seems to be a lack of agreement on basic principles. In particular, there seems to be a lack of agreement on how the following two questions are to be answered. First, what is art restoration supposed to achieve, in other words, what is (...)
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  18. Rafael De Clercq (2005). The Aesthetic Peculiarity of Multifunctional Artefacts. British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (4):412-425.
    Echoing a distinction made by David Wiggins in his discussion of the relation of identity, this paper investigates whether aesthetic adjectives such as ‘beautiful’ are sortal-relative or merely sortal-dependent. The hypothesis guiding the paper is that aesthetic adjectives, though probably sortal-dependent in general, are sortal-relative only when used to characterize multifunctional artefacts. This means that multifunctional artefacts should be unique in allowing the following situation to occur: for some object x there are sortals K and K' such that x is (...)
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  19. Arda Denkel (1995). Artifacts and Constituents. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2):311-322.
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  20. Julian Dodd (2013). Adventures in the Metaontology of Art: Local Descriptivism, Artefacts and Dreamcatchers. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1047-1068.
    Descriptivism in the ontology of art is the thesis that the correct ontological proposal for a kind of artwork cannot show the nascent ontological conception of such things embedded in our critical and appreciative practices to be substantially mistaken. Descriptivists believe that the kinds of revisionary art ontological proposals propounded by Nelson Goodman, Gregory Currie, Mark Sagoff, and me are methodologically misconceived. In this paper I examine the case that has been made for a local form of descriptivism in the (...)
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  21. Crawford Elder (2007). On the Place of Artifacts in Ontology. In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation. Oxford University Press. 33--51.
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  22. Crawford L. Elder (2013). On the Reality and Causal Efficacy of Familiar Objects. Philosophia 41 (3):737-749.
    What caused the event we report by saying “the window shattered”? Was it the baseball, which crashed into the window? Causal exclusionists say: many, many microparticles collectively caused that event—microparticles located where common sense supposes the baseball was. Unitary large objects such as baseballs cause nothing; indeed, by Alexander’s dictum, there are no such objects. This paper argues that the false claim about causal efficacy is instead the one that attributes it to the many microparticles. Causation obtains just where there (...)
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  23. Brian Epstein (2015). How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together? In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Social Ontology and Social Cognition.
    In recent years, theorists have debated how we introduce new social objects and kinds into the world. Searle, for instance, proposes that they are introduced by collective acceptance of a constitutive rule; Millikan and Elder that they are the products of reproduction processes; Thomasson that they result from creator intentions and subsequent intentional reproduction; and so on. In this chapter, I argue against the idea that there is a single generic method or set of requirements for doing so. Instead, there (...)
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  24. Brian Epstein (2015). The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences. Oxford.
    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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  25. Brian Epstein (2013). Social Objects Without Intentions. In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. 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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