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  1. 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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  • The Unreasonable Destructiveness of Political Correctness in Philosophy.Manuel Doria - 2017 - Philosophies 2 (3):17.
    I submit that epistemic progress in key areas of contemporary academic philosophy has been compromised by politically correct ideology. First, guided by an evolutionary account of ideology, results from social and cognitive psychology and formal philosophical methods, I expose evidence for political bias in contemporary Western academia and sketch a formalization for the contents of beliefs from the PC worldview taken to be of core importance, the theory of social oppression and the thesis of anthropological mental egalitarianism. Then, aided by (...)
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  • Social Kinds, Social Objects, and Vague Boundaries.Francesco Franda - 2021 - Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Ontology of Social, Legal and Economic Entities (SoLEE).
    In this paper, I argue against what I call “natural realism” about social kinds, the view according to which social categories have natural boundaries, independent of our thought. First, I draw a distinction between two different types of entity realism, one being about the existence of the entity, “ontological realism”, and the other one being about the direct mind-independence of the entity, “natural realism”. After endorsing ontological realism, I present the natural realist argument according to which there would be certain (...)
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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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  • The Definition of Art.Thomas Adajian - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy. Whether art can be defined has also been a matter of controversy. The philosophical usefulness of a definition of art has also been debated. -/- Contemporary definitions can be classified with respect to the dimensions of art they emphasize. One distinctively modern, conventionalist, sort of definition focuses on art’s institutional features, emphasizing the way art changes over time, modern works that appear to break radically with all traditional art, the relational properties (...)
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  • Demarcating the Social World with Hume.Matthew J. Cull - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (1):69-88.
    Where lies the boundary between the natural and social worlds? For the local constructionist, who wants to say that whilst global constructionism is false, nonetheless there remains a domain of soc...
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  • Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory Without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and Their Costs.Yukinori Onishi & Davide Serpico - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie (N/A):61-82.
    The homeostatic property cluster theory is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Carl Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the (...)
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  • Natural Kinds, Mind-Independence, and Unification Principles.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many supposed natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles determine how natural kinds unify their properties, and only those (...)
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  • The Explanatory Role of Concepts.Samuel D. Taylor & Gottfried Vosgerau - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1045-1070.
    Machery and Weiskopf argue that the kind concept is a natural kind if and only if it plays an explanatory role in cognitive scientific explanations. In this paper, we argue against this explanationist approach to determining the natural kind-hood of concept. We first demonstrate that hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts afford the kind concept different explanatory roles. Then, we argue that we cannot decide between hybrid, pluralist, and eliminativist theories of concepts, because each endorses a different, but equally (...)
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  • The Aesthetic Engagement Theory of Art.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:243-268.
    I introduce and explicate a new functionalist account of art, namely that something is an artwork iff the fulfillment of its function by a subject requires that the subject aesthetically engage it. This is the Aesthetic Engagement Theory of art. I show how the Aesthetic Engagement Theory outperforms salient rival theories in terms of extensional adequacy, non-arbitrariness, and ability to account for the distinctive value of art. I also give an account of what it is to aesthetically engage a work (...)
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  • Money and Mental Contents.Sarah Vooys & David G. Dick - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3443-3458.
    It can be hard to see where money fits in the world. Money seems both real and imaginary, since it has obvious causal powers, but is also, just as obviously, something humans have just made up. Recent philosophical accounts of money have declared it to be real, but for very different reasons. John Searle and Francesco Guala disagree over whether money is just whatever acts like money, or just whatever people believe to be money. In developing their accounts of institutions (...)
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  • Organisations as Computing Systems.David Strohmaier - 2021 - 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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  • "Knowledge First" and Its Limits.Tammo Lossau - 2022 - Dissertation, Johns Hopkins University
    I discuss three understandings of the idea of “Knowledge First Epistemology”, i.e. Timothy Williamson’s suggestion that we should take knowledge as a starting point, rather than trying to analyze it. Some have taken this to be a suggestion about the role of the concept of knowledge, but Williamson also seems to be concerned with intuition-based metaphysics. As an alternative, I develop the idea that knowledge may be a social kind that can be understood through a functional analysis in the tradition (...)
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  • Social Objects, Response-Dependence, and Realism.Asya Passinsky - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (4):431-443.
    There is a widespread sentiment that social objects such as nation-states, borders, and pieces of money are just figments of our collective imagination and not really ‘out there’ in the world. Call this the ‘antirealist intuition’. Eliminativist, reductive materialist, and immaterialist views of social objects can all make sense of the antirealist intuition, in one way or another. But these views face serious difficulties. A promising alternative view is nonreductive materialism. Yet it is unclear whether and how nonreductive materialists can (...)
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  • What Money Is and Ought To Be.David G. Dick - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):293-313.
    Teleological thinking about money reasons from what money is for to both how it ought to be used and what forms it should take. One type, found in Aristotle’s argument against usury, takes teleological considerations alone to decisively settle normative questions. Another type, found in Locke’s argument about monetary durability, takes teleological considerations to contribute to the settling of normative questions, but sees them as one consideration among many. This paper endorses the type made by Locke while rejecting the type (...)
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  • Social-Computation-Supporting Kinds.David Strohmaier - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):862-877.
    Social kinds are heterogeneous. As a consequence of this diversity, some authors have sought to identify and analyse different kinds of social kinds. One distinct kind of social kinds, however, has not yet received sufficient attention. I propose that there exists a class of social-computation-supporting kinds, or SCS-kinds for short. These SCS-kinds are united by the function of enabling computations implemented by social groups. Examples of such SCS-kinds arereimbursement form,US dollar bill,chair of the board. I will analyse SCS-kinds, contrast my (...)
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  • The Stability of Social Categories.Abraham Sesshu Roth - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
  • What is Implicit Culture?Omar Lizardo - forthcoming - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.
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  • A Social Ontology of “Maximal” Persons.Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe - 2022 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 52 (1):147-163.
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  • Natural Kinds, Mind Independence, and Defeasibility.Marc Ereshefsky - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):845-856.
    A standard requirement on natural kinds is that they be mind independent. However, many kinds in the human and social sciences, even the natural sciences, depend on human thought. This article suggests that the mind independence requirement on natural kinds be replaced with the requirement that natural kind classifications be defeasible. The defeasibility requirement does not require that natural kinds be mind independent, so it does not exclude mind dependent scientific kinds from being natural kinds. Furthermore, the defeasibility requirement captures (...)
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  • Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):402-424.
    Social groups—like teams, committees, gender groups, and racial groups—play a central role in our lives and in philosophical inquiry. Here I develop and motivate a structuralist ontology of social groups centered on social structures (i.e., networks of relations that are constitutively dependent on social factors). The view delivers a picture that encompasses a diverse range of social groups, while maintaining important metaphysical and normative distinctions between groups of different kinds. It also meets the constraint that not every arbitrary collection of (...)
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  • Metaphysics and Social Justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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  • How to Project a Socially Constructed Sexual Orientation.Peter Finocchiaro - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 7 (2):173-203.
    Was bisexuality a widespread feature of ancient Greek society? This question is an instance of cross-cultural projection -- of taking the means through which people are categorized in one culture and applying it to members of another. It’s widely held by those who think that sexual orientation is socially constructed that its projection poses a problem. In this paper, I offer a more careful analysis of this alleged problem. To analyze projection, I adapt Iris Einheuser’s substratum-carving model of conventionalism to (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Rebecca Mason & Katherine Ritchie - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics.
    Traditionally, social entities (i.e., social properties, facts, kinds, groups, institutions, and structures) have not fallen within the purview of mainstream metaphysics. In this chapter, we consider whether the exclusion of social entities from mainstream metaphysics is philosophically warranted or if it instead rests on historical accident or bias. We examine three ways one might attempt to justify excluding social metaphysics from the domain of metaphysical inquiry and argue that each fails. Thus, we conclude that social entities are not justifiably excluded (...)
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • Social Inconsistency.Thomas Brouwer - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Though the social world is real and objective, the way that social facts arise out of other facts is in an important way shaped by human thought, talk and behaviour. Building on recent work in social ontology, I describe a mechanism whereby this distinctive malleability of social facts, combined with the possibility of basic human error, makes it possible for a consistent physical reality to ground an inconsistent social reality. I explore various ways of resisting the prima facie case for (...)
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  • Social Constructionism, Concept Acquisition and the Mismatch Problem.Guido Löhr - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2659-2673.
    An explanation of how we acquire concepts of kinds if they are socially constructed is a desideratum both for a successful account of concept acquisition and a successful account of social constructionism. Both face the so-called “mismatch problem” that is based on the observation that that there is often a mismatch between the descriptions proficient speakers associate with a word and the properties that its referents have in common. I argue that externalist theories of reference provide a plausible and attractive (...)
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  • Institutional Externalism.Giuliano Torrengo - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (1):67-85.
    Many philosophers regard collective behavior and attitudes as the ground of the whole of social reality. According to this popular view, society is composed basically of collective intentions and cooperative behaviors; this is so both for informal contexts involving small groups and for complex institutional structures. In this article, I challenge this view, and propose an alternative approach, which I term institutional externalism. I argue that institutions are characterized by the tendency to defer to elements that are external to the (...)
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  • B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
    We care not only about what experiences we have, but when we have them too. However, on the B-theory of time, something’s timing isn’t an intrinsic way for that thing to be or become. Given B-theory, should we be rationally indifferent about the timing per se of an experience? In this paper, I argue that B-theorists can justify time-biased preferences for pains to be past rather than present and for pleasures to be present rather than past. In support of this (...)
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  • Categories We Do Not Know We Live By.Åsa Burman - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):235-243.
    I argue that a central claim of Ásta’s conferralist framework – that it can account for all social properties of individuals – is false, by drawing attention to class. I then discuss an implication of this objection; conferralism does not meet its own conditions of adequacy, such as providing a theory that helps to understand oppression. My diagnosis is that this objection points to a methodological problem: Ásta and other social ontologists have been fed on a “one-sided diet” of types (...)
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  • Social kinds are essentially mind-dependent.Rebecca Mason - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3975-3994.
    I defend a novel view of how social kinds (e.g., money, women, permanent residents) depend on our mental states. In particular, I argue that social kinds depend on our mental states in the following sense: it is essential to them that they exist (partially) because certain mental states exist. This analysis is meant to capture the very general way in which all social kinds depend on our mental states. However, my view is that particular social kinds also depend on our (...)
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  • Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  • Nunc Pro Tunc. The Problem of Retroactive Enactments.Giuliano Torrengo - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):241-250.
    In this paper, I present a problem for the realist with respect to the institutional sphere, and suggest a solution. Roughly, the problem lies in a contradiction that arises as soon as institutional contexts are allowed to influence the institutional profile of objects and events not only in the present, but also in the past. If such “retroactive enactments” are effective, in order to avoid contradiction the realist seems to have to accept the unpleasant conclusion that institutions can create a (...)
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  • Response to Critics. Ásta - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):273-283.
    This is a response to the critical comments by Åsa Burman, Esa Díaz-León, Aaron Griffith, and Katharine Jenkins.
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  • What Is Sport?Steffen Borge - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (3):308-330.
    In this paper, I am going to present a condensed version of my theory of what sport is from my book The Philosophy of Football. In that work, I took my starting point in Bernard Suits’ celebrated,...
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  • Natural Kinds as Nodes in Causal Networks.Muhammad Khalidi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1379-1396.
    In this paper I offer a unified causal account of natural kinds. Using as a starting point the widely held view that natural kind terms or predicates are projectible, I argue that the ontological bases of their projectibility are the causal properties and relations associated with the natural kinds themselves. Natural kinds are not just concatenations of properties but ordered hierarchies of properties, whose instances are related to one another as causes and effects in recurrent causal processes. The resulting account (...)
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  • Social Categories in Context.Elanor Taylor - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):171-187.
    Social categories play a central role in inquiry. Some authors have argued that social categories can only play this role because they have a particular metaphysical status, such as a connection to natural kinds or to comparatively joint-carving properties. This reflects the broadly realist idea that categories that play important roles in inquiry do so for metaphysical reasons. In this paper I argue that such metaphysical views of social categories cannot accommodate ‘empty’ social categories, cases in which social categories that (...)
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  • Against Social Kind Anti-Realism.Rebecca Mason - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):55-67.
    The view that social kinds (e.g., money, migrant, marriage) are mind-dependent is a prominent one in the social ontology literature. However, in addition to the claim that social kinds are mind-dependent, it is often asserted that social kinds are not real because they are mind-dependent. Call this view social kind anti-realism. To defend their view, social kind anti-realists must accomplish two tasks. First, they must identify a dependence relation that obtains between social kinds and our mental states. Call this the (...)
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  • Autopoietic Theory, Enactivism, and Their Incommensurable Marks of the Cognitive.Mario Villalobos & Simón Palacios - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):71-87.
    This paper examines a fundamental philosophical difference between two radical postcognitivist theories that are usually assumed to offer the same view of cognition; namely the autopoietic theory and the enactive approach. The ways these two theories understand cognition, it is argued, are not compatible nor incompatible but rather incommensurable. The reason, so it is argued, is that while enactivism, following the traditional stance held by most of the cognitive theories, understands cognitive systems as constituting a natural kind, the autopoietic theory (...)
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  • Overlapping Ontologies and Indigenous Knowledge. From Integration to Ontological Self-­Determination.David Ludwig - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:36-45.
    Current controversies about knowledge integration reflect conflicting ideas of what it means to “take Indigenous knowledge seriously”. While there is increased interest in integrating Indigenous and Western scientific knowledge in various disciplines such as anthropology and ethnobiology, integration projects are often accused of recognizing Indigenous knowledge only insofar as it is useful for Western scientists. The aim of this article is to use tools from philosophy of science to develop a model of both successful integration and integration failures. On the (...)
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