Social Practices and Embubblement

Philosophies 6 (1):13 (2021)
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The present contribution describes the nature of social practices based on habitual behavior. The first part concerns the notion of “habit” from a perspective that crosses philosophy and science. Habits structure our daily life and possess a social nature, as shown by informally shared habits and institutionalized rituals. After a brief reference to the philosophical debate, we point out the fundamental dimensions of habitual behavior, i.e., routine and goal-directed behavior. They also characterize shared social habits like rituals because we need to: (a) simply follow social institutional practices and (b) actively cooperate to reach a certain goal. Our descriptive strategy aims at promoting the aspect of “control” in habitual behavior, namely, the possibility of accepting or refusing to do something. This control does not work in many pathological cases and cases of auto-illusion. The second part of the article will illustrate the interesting but disregarded case of the epistemic and moral embubblement, explaining it as an individual cognitive process and as a specific social practice that once followed or institutionalized becomes a shared practice routinely performed. The main features of an epistemic bubble concern the widespread situation in which the cognitive agents always resolve the tension between their thinking that they know _P_ and their knowing _P_ in favor of knowing that _P_”. The related case of the moral bubble indicates the situation in which agents are potentially or actually violent and unaware of it. This cognitive process expresses how difficulties in recognizing one’s own violence leads to disregarding the possible or actual inflicted harm: in this case, a process of what can be called “autoimmunity” is at play. We will contend that the concept of moral bubble can provide an integrated and unified perspective able to interpret in a novel way many social practices in which morality and violence are intertwined.



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Raffaela Giovagnoli
Pontificia Università Lateranense

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Norms and Habits: Brandom on the Sociality of Action.Steven Levine - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):248-272.

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