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  1. Longtermist Institutional Reform.Tyler John & William MacAskill - forthcoming - In Natalie Cargill & Tyler M. John (eds.), The Long View. London, UK: FIRST.
    In all probability, future generations will outnumber us by thousands or millions to one. In the aggregate, their interests therefore matter enormously, and anything we can do to steer the future of civilization onto a better trajectory is of tremendous moral importance. This is the guiding thought that defines the philosophy of longtermism. Political science tells us that the practices of most governments are at stark odds with longtermism. But the problems of political short-termism are neither necessary nor inevitable. In (...)
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  2. Philosophy and Social Institutions in the West.Frank H. Knight - forthcoming - Philosophy and Culture: East and West.
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  3. Epistemic Corruption and Political Institutions.Ian James Kidd - 2021 - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), The Routledge Handbook to Political Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 357-358.
    Institutions play an indispensable role in our political and epistemic lives. This Chapter explores sympathetically the claim that political institutions can be bearers of epistemic vices. I start by describing one form of collectivism - the claim that the vices of institutions do not reduce to the vices of their members. I then describe the phenomenon of epistemic corruption and the various processes that can corrupt the epistemic ethoi of political institutions. The discussion focuses on some recent work by Miranda (...)
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  4. Legitimacy and Institutional Purpose.N. P. Adams - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (3):292-310.
    Institutions undertake a huge variety of constitutive purposes. One of the roles of legitimacy is to protect and promote an institution’s pursuit of its purpose; state legitimacy is generally understood as the right to rule, for example. When considering legitimacy beyond the state, we have to take account of how differences in purposes change legitimacy. I focus in particular on how differences in purpose matter for the stringency of the standards that an institution must meet in order to be legitimate. (...)
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  5. Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  6. Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  7. 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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  8. Fictional Expectations and the Ontology of Power.Torsten Menge - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (29):1-22.
    What kind of thing, as it were, is power and how does it fit into our understanding of the social world? I approach this question by exploring the pragmatic character of power ascriptions, arguing that they involve fictional expectations directed at an open future. When we take an agent to be powerful, we act as if that agent had a robust capacity to make a difference to the actions of others. While this pretense can never fully live up to a (...)
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  9. Emergencia del institucionalismo en la teoría argumental.María G. Navarro - 2020 - Azafea: Revista de Filosofia 22 (1):167-192.
    One of the challenges related to the discursive practices of argumentative agents is to get to know if those interactions have an institutional effect. In this article, it is argued that in the new institutionalism, theoretical approaches and deterministic analysis are outlined to investigate argumentative practices that take place in processes of legitimation and recognition. Here a double socio-institutional and discursive or constructivist approach to the argumentation theory is defended, and it is argued that this perspective could be extended to (...)
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  10. Collective Recognition and Function in Concepts of Institutional Social Groups.Alexander Noyes & Frank C. Keil - 2020 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 149 (7):1344-1359.
  11. On Credentials.Barry Smith, Olimpia Giuliana Loddo & Giuseppe Lorini - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (1):47-67.
    Credentials play an important role in all modern societies, but the analysis of their nature and function has thus far been neglected by social philosophers. We present a view according to which the function of credentials is certify the identity and the institutional status (including the rights) of individuals. More importantly, credentials enable rights-holders to exercise their rights, so that for a particular right to be exercisable the right-holder should possess, carry and sometimes show to an authority (or QR code (...)
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  12. Institutions as a Philosophical Problem: A Critical Rationalist Perspective on Guala’s “Understanding Institutions” and His Critics.Joseph Agassi & Ian Jarvie - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (1):42-63.
    The symposium on Francesco Guala’s Understanding Institutions was thought provoking. Five critical papers took issue with Guala’s reconciliation of the game-theoretical view of institutions and the rule-governed view. We offer some critical commentary that adopts a different perspective. We agree that institutions are central to social life and, thus, also to the social sciences; they are also prior to and more fundamental than individuals. We add some historical points on the ways previous philosophers thought about institutions, and we come at (...)
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  13. Belonging as a Social and Institutional Fact.Jovan Babić - 2019 - Philosophia (5):1341-1354.
    The first issue raised in the paper is difference between social and institutional facts; both exist only because we believe they are real. Second is the claim that belonging to collectives is always a social fact, not necessarily as a result of any decision-making process; it might also become institutional through actual, sometimes only implicit, acceptance of some constitutive rules. Third, accepting constitutive rules functions by setting an irreversible point in time after which the scope of available justificatory reasons for (...)
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  14. Institutions, Ideology, and Nonideal Social Ontology.Johan Brännmark - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (2):137-159.
    Analytic social ontology has been dominated by approaches where institutions tend to come out paradigmatically as being relatively harmonious and mutually beneficial. This can however raise worries about such models potentially playing an ideological role in conceptualizing certain politically charged features of our societies as marginal phenomena or not even being institutional matters at all. This article seeks to develop a nonideal theory of institutions, which neither assumes that institutions are beneficial or oppressive, and where ideology is understood as a (...)
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  15. Existence, Really? Tacit Disagreements About “Existence” in Disputes About Group Minds and Corporate Agents.Johannes Himmelreich - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4939-4953.
    A central dispute in social ontology concerns the existence of group minds and actions. I argue that some authors in this dispute rely on rival views of existence without sufficiently acknowledging this divergence. I proceed in three steps in arguing for this claim. First, I define the phenomenon as an implicit higher-order disagreement by drawing on an analysis of verbal disputes. Second, I distinguish two theories of existence—the theory-commitments view and the truthmaker view—in both their eliminativist and their constructivist variants. (...)
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  16. Norms That Make a Difference: Social Practices and Institutions.Frank Hindriks - 2019 - Analyse & Kritik 41 (1):125-146.
    Institutions are norm-governed social practices, or so I propose. But what does it mean for a norm to govern a social practice? Theories that analyze institutions as equilibria equate norms with sanctions and model them as costs. The idea is that the sanctions change preferences and thereby behavior. This view fails to capture the fact that people are often motivated by social norms as such, when they regard them as legitimate. I argue that, in order for a social norm to (...)
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  17. The Functions of Institutions: Etiology and Teleology.Frank Hindriks & Francesco Guala - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2027-2043.
    Institutions generate cooperative benefits that explain why they exist and persist. Therefore, their etiological function is to promote cooperation. The function of a particular institution, such as money or traffic regulations, is to solve one or more cooperation problems. We go on to argue that the teleological function of institutions is to secure values by means of norms. Values can also be used to redesign an institution and to promote social change. We argue, however, that an adequate theory of institutions (...)
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  18. Human Rights and Status Functions, Before and After the Enlightenment.Gregory J. Lobo - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (1):31-41.
    This article discusses John Searle’s status function account of human rights and Åsa Burman’s “A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights.” While recognizing the validity of part of the critique, based on the distinction between types and tokens, the author argues that, nonetheless, one is not compelled to accept Burman’s conclusion, that “one must give up the status function account of human rights to explain how a human right can exist without collective recognition”. Specifically, the author accepts (...)
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  19. How Are Bundles of Social Practices Constituted?Italo Testa - 2019 - Critical Horizons:1-12.
    n this paper, I analyse Rahel Jaeggi’s socio-ontological account of forms of life. I show that her framework is a two-sided one, since it involves an understanding of forms of life both as inert bundles of practices and as having a normative structure. Here I argue that this approach is based on an a priori argument which assumes normativity as the condition of intelligibility of social criticism. I show that the intimate tension between these two sides is reflected in the (...)
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  20. The Evolution of Social Contracts.Michael Vlerick - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):181-203.
    Influential thinkers such as Young, Sugden, Binmore, and Skyrms have developed game-theoretic accounts of the emergence, persistence and evolution of social contracts. Social contracts are sets of commonly understood rules that govern cooperative social interaction within societies. These naturalistic accounts provide us with valuable and important insights into the foundations of human societies. However, current naturalistic theories focus mainly on how social contracts solve coordination problems in which the interests of the individual participants are aligned, not competition problems in which (...)
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  21. Three Conceptions of a Theory of Institutions.N. Emrah Aydinonat & Petri Ylikoski - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):550-568.
    We compare Guala’s unified theory of institutions with that of Searle and Greif. We show that unification can be many things and it may be associated with diverse explanatory goals. We also highlight some of the important shortcomings of Guala’s account: it does not capture all social institutions, its ability to bridge social ontology and game theory is based on a problematic interpretation of the type-token distinction, and its ability to make social ontology useful for social sciences is hindered by (...)
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  22. The Metaphysics of Institutions: Powers, Contingency and Freedom.Michaël Bauwens - 2018 - Dissertation, KU Leuven
    The aim of this research project is to shed light on the fundamental nature and mode of being of institutions. Starting from the work of John Searle, the goal is to develop an ontology of institutions that is both better metaphysically grounded than Searle's, and more developed towards applications in the social sciences and social and political philosophy. It relies on a metaphysics of powers and dispositions, as developed in the recent literature in analytic metaphysics, in order to offer an (...)
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  23. Institutions as Dispositions: Searle, Smith and the Metaphysics of Blind Chess.Michaël Bauwens - 2018 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 48 (3):254-272.
    This paper addresses the question what the fundamental nature and mode of being of institutional reality is. Besides the recent debate with Tony Lawson, Barry Smith is also one of the relatively few authors to have explicitly challenged John Searle's social ontology on this metaphysical question, with Smith's realism requirement for institutions conflicting with Searle's requirement of a one-world naturalism. This paper proposes that an account of institutions as powers or dispositions is not only congenial to Searle's general account, but (...)
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  24. Review of Kirk Ludwig, From Individual to Plural Agency, Collective Action: Volume 1. [REVIEW]Olle Blomberg - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):626-628.
  25. A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights.Åsa Burman - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (5):463-473.
    This contradiction ”1. The universal right to free speech did not exist before the European Enlightenment, at which time it came into existence. 2. The universal right to free speech has always existed, but this right was recognized only at the time of the European Enlightenment.” draws on two common and conflicting intuitions: The human right to free speech exists because institutions, or the law, says so. In contrast, the human right to free speech can exist independently of institutions—these institutions (...)
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  26. Précis of Understanding Institutions.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):539-549.
    Understanding Institutions offers a theory that is able to unify the two dominant approaches in the scientific and philosophical literature on institutions. Moreover, using the ‘rules-in-equilibrium’ theory, it tackles several ancient puzzles in the philosophy of social science.
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  27. Replies to Critics.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):630-645.
    I answer the questions raised by commentators, and clarify what Understanding Institutions tried to achieve.
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  28. Institution Types and Institution Tokens: An Unproblematic Distinction?Rico Hauswald - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):594-607.
    The distinction between institution types and institution tokens plays an important role in Francesco Guala’s philosophy of institutions. In this commentary, I argue that this distinction faces a number of difficulties that are not sufficiently addressed in Understanding Institutions. In particular, I critically discuss Guala’s comparison between the taxonomy of organisms and the taxonomy of institutions, consider the semantics of institution terms on different levels in this taxonomy, and argue for an alternative solution to the problem of how to reconcile (...)
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  29. Practice Theory and International Relations.Silviya Lechner & Mervyn Frost - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    Are social practices actions, or institutional frameworks of interaction structured by common rules? How do social practices such as signing a cheque differ from international practices such as signing a peace treaty? Traversing the fields of international relations and philosophy, this book defends an institutionalist conception of practices as part of a general practice theory indebted to Oakeshott, Wittgenstein and Hegel. The proposed practice theory has two core aspects: practice internalism and normative descriptivism. In developing a philosophical analysis of social (...)
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  30. Understanding Institutions Without Collective Acceptance?Pekka Mäkelä, Raul Hakli & S. M. Amadae - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):608-629.
    Francesco Guala has written an important book proposing a new account of social institutions and criticizing existing ones. We focus on Guala’s critique of collective acceptance theories of institutions, widely discussed in the literature of collective intentionality. Guala argues that at least some of the collective acceptance theories commit their proponents to antinaturalist methodology of social science. What is at stake here is what kind of philosophizing is relevant for the social sciences. We argue that a Searlean version of collective (...)
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  31. El capital social en situaciones de cambio institucional.María G. Navarro - 2018 - Bajo Palabra. Revista de Filosofía 20:65-84.
    In this article, the hypothesis according to which the institutional change is determined by the mobilization of social capital is exposed. It is analysed what consequences derived from this fact in relation to the processes of deinstitutionalization of the policy. It proposes an interpretation of academically relevant results about the meaning of the term ‘deinstitutionalization’, explains some of the most important antecedents on institutional theory and, fially, proposes some fundamental ideas to advance the philosophical reflction about the so-called new institutionalism.
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  32. Solution Thinking and Team Reasoning: How Different Are They?Elisabeth Pacherie - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):585-593.
    In his book, Understanding Institutions, Francesco Guala discusses two solutions to the problem of mindreading for coordination, the solution thinking approach proposed by Adam Morton and the team reasoning approach developed by Michael Bacharach, Robert Sugden, and Natalie Gold. I argue that the family resemblance between the two approaches is even stronger than Guala thinks.
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  33. Organisations and Variable Embodiments.Daniele Porello, Roberta Ferrario & Claudio Masolo - 2018 - In Stefano Borgo, Pascal Hitzler & Oliver Kutz (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference, {FOIS} 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, 19-21 September 2018. pp. 127--140.
    How can organisations survive not only the substitution of members, but also other dramatic changes, like that of the norms regulating their activities, the goals they plan to achieve, or the system of roles that compose them? This paper is as first step towards a well-founded ontological analysis of the persistence of organisations through changes. Our analysis leverages Kit Fine’s notions of rigid and variable embodiment and proposes to view the (history of the) decisions made by the members of the (...)
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  34. Ontological Foundations of Competition.Tiago Prince Sales, Daniele Porello, Nicola Guarino, Giancarlo Guizzardi & John Mylopoulos - 2018 - In Stefano Borgo, Pascal Hitzler & Oliver Kutz (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (FOIS 2018). Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp. 96-112.
    It is widely recognized that accurately identifying and classifying competitors is a challenge for many companies and entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, it is a paramount activity which provide valuable insights that affect a wide range of strategic decisions. One of the main challenges in competitor identification lies in the complex nature of the competitive relationships that arise in business envi- ronments. These have been extensively investigate over the years, which lead to a plethora of competition theories and frameworks. Still, the concept of (...)
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  35. Are Institutions Rules in Equilibrium? Comments on Guala’s Understanding Institutions.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):569-584.
    In this comment on Francesco Guala’s Understanding Institutions, I express my admiration for the book but I also raise some critical criticisms: His general account of institutions as rules-in-equilibrium seems to get their ontology wrong by disregarding their material side - their concrete realizations. It also diregards social institutions whose rules are not in equilibrium. Finally, his suggestion that institutional equilibria necessarily involve correlation devices appers to lack justification.
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  36. The Curious Case of Ronald McDonald’s Claim to Rights: An Ontological Account of Differences in Group and Individual Person Rights: Winner of the 2016 Essay Competition of the International Social Ontology Society.Leonie Smith - 2018 - Journal of Social Ontology 4 (1):1-28.
    Performative accounts of personhood argue that group agents are persons, fit to be held responsible within the social sphere. Nonetheless, these accounts want to retain a moral distinction between group and individual persons. That: Group-persons can be responsible for their actions qua persons, but that group-persons might nonetheless not have rights equivalent to those of human persons. I present an argument which makes sense of this disanalogy, without recourse to normative claims or additional ontological commitments. I instead ground rights in (...)
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  37. The Social Construction of Demoicracy in the European Union.Francis Cheneval & Kalypso Nicolaidis - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (2):235-260.
    The Eurozone crisis has brought the imperative of democratic autonomy within the EU to the forefront, a concern at the core of demoicratic theory. The article seeks to move the scholarship on demoicratic theory a step further by exploring what we call the social construction of demoicratic reality. While the EU’s legal-institutional infrastructure may imperfectly approximate a demoicratic structure, we need ask to what extent the ‘bare bones’ demoicratic character of a polity can actually be grounded in a full-flesh social (...)
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  38. Review of Francesco Guala "Understanding Institutions". [REVIEW]Christopher Clarke - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  39. Spaces of the Self.Robert S. Leib - 2017 - Philosophy Today 61 (1):189-210.
    This article argues that the works of Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman are complementary, specifically in their analyses of disciplinary power. This analysis would be what Foucault calls a ‘micro-physics’ of power. Micro-physics is an important concept even in Foucault’s later lectures, but it remains a sub-discipline of genealogy Foucault himself never pursues. Goffman’s works, which rely upon notions of social performance, personal spaces, and the construction of the self through these, fulfill the conditions of micro-physical analysis well. Using Goffman’s (...)
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  40. The Demos as a Plural Subject.Bas Leijssenaar - 2017 - Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy 46 (1):37-64.
    Existing conceptualizations of the demos fail to treat issues of composition and performativity consistently. Recent literature suggests that both aspects are required in a satisfactory account of the demos. An analysis of this literature suggests several desiderata that such an account must meet. I approach the definition of demos with a conceptual framework derived from Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory of social groups. I propose an account of demos as a plural subject, constituted by joint commitment. This account offers an (...)
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  41. From Plural to Institutional Agency: Collective Action II.Kirk Ludwig - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kirk Ludwig presents a philosophical account of institutional action, such as action by corporations and nation states. He argues that it can be fully understood in terms of the agency of individuals, and concepts derived from our understanding of individual action. He thus argues for a strong form of methodological individualism.
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  42. Methodological Individualism, the We-Mode, and Team Reasoning.Kirk Ludwig - 2017 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with his Responses. Cham, Switzerlan: Springer. pp. 3-18.
    Raimo Tuomela is one of the pioneers of social action theory and has done as much as anyone over the last thirty years to advance the study of social action and collective intentionality. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents (2013) presents the latest version of his theory and applications to a range of important social phenomena. The book covers so much ground, and so many important topics in detailed discussions, that it would impossible in a short space to do (...)
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  43. Walking the Tightrope: Unrecognized Conventions and Arbitrariness.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):867-887.
    Unrecognized conventions—practices that are conventional even though their participants do not recognize them as such—play central roles in shaping our lives. They range from the indispensable (e.g. unrecognized linguistic conventions) to the insidious (e.g. some of our gender conventions). Unrecognized conventions pose a challenge for accounts of conventions because it is difficult to incorporate the distinctive arbitrariness of conventions—the fact that conventions always have alternatives—without accidentally excluding many unrecognized conventions. I develop an Accessibility Requirement that allows us to account for (...)
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  44. Searle on Human Rights.J. Angelo Corlett - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (4):440-463.
    This article is a critical philosophical assessment of John Searle’s theory of human rights as it is articulated both in his earlier book, The Construction of Social Reality and especially in his more recent book, Making the Social World.
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  45. How Institutions Work in Shared Intentionality and ‘We-Mode’ Social Cognition.Jeppe Sinding Jensen - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):301-312.
    The topics of social ontology, culture, and institutions constitute a problem complex that involves a broad range of human social and cultural cognitive capacities. We-mode social cognition and shared intentionality appear to be crucial in the formation of social ontology and social institutions, which, in turn, provide the bases for the social manifestation of collective and shared psychological attitudes. Humans have ‘hybrid minds’ that inhabit cultural–cognitive ecosystems. Essentially, these consist of social institutions and distributed cognition that afford the common grounds (...)
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  46. Ontology and Political Theory: A Critical Encounter Between Rawls and Foucault.Irena Rosenthal - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (2):147488511665963.
    Contemporary political thought is deeply divided about the role of ontology in political thinking. Famously, political liberal John Rawls has argued that ontological claims are best to be avoided in political thought. In recent years, however, a number of theorists have claimed that ontology is essential to political philosophy. According to the contributors to this ‘ontological turn’, ontological investigations may foster the politicisation of hegemonic political theories and can highlight new possibilities for political life. This essay aims to contribute to (...)
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  47. How Social Institutions Can Imitate Nature.Corrado Roversi - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):327-338.
    The opposition between nature and culture has always been paradigmatic in the philosophy of society, and in this sense it is certainly striking that, in contemporary theories of collective acceptance in social ontology—theories which actually entail the presence of individual mental content in the form of beliefs—the shaping role of culture has not found significant recognition. However, it cannot but be trivially true that cultural presuppositions play a role in the maintenance and development of beliefs on rules and other kinds (...)
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  48. Introduction: Social Ontology, Culture and Institutions.Alessandro Salice & Filip8 Buekens - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):267-270.
  49. The Incentivized Action View of Institutional Facts as an Alternative to the Searlean View: A Response to Butchard and D’Amico.J. P. Smit, Filip Buekens & Stan du Plessis - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (1):44-55.
    In our earlier work, we argued, contra Searle, that institutional facts can be understood in terms of non-institutional facts about actions and incentives. Butchard and D’Amico claim that we have misinterpreted Searle, that our main argument against him has no merit and that our positive view cannot account for institutional facts created via joint action. We deny all three charges.
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  50. Freedom’s Right. The Social Foundations of Democratic Life. [REVIEW]Hans Arentshorst - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):167–170.
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