Synthese 198 (11):10237-10271 (2020)

Authors
John Horden
Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract
We say that each social group is identical to its members. The group just is them; they just are the group. This view of groups as pluralities has tended to be swiftly rejected by social metaphysicians, if considered at all, mainly on the basis of two objections. First, it is argued that groups can change in membership, while pluralities cannot. Second, it is argued that different groups can have exactly the same members, while different pluralities cannot. We rebut these objections, and argue that our plural view is superior to alternative reductive proposals which would identify social groups with the sets or fusions of their members. Finally we deal with some further potential challenges for the view of groups as pluralities. Thus we aim to establish it as a serious contender in the metaphysics of groups.
Keywords social ontology  social groups  reductionism  identity  social roles  plural terms  flexible terms  metalinguistic negation  higher-level plural logic
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02715-y
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References found in this work BETA

Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plural Quantification.Ø Linnebo - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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