An angry young man: A close reading of Arthur Prior’s contribution to social ontology

Synthese 193 (11):3417-3427 (2016)

Abstract

This paper is about one of Arthur Prior’s earliest publications in philosophy, “The Nation and the Individual”. Its aims are to show that Prior made a remarkable contribution to social ontology in the 1930s which should be read with some attention to its historical background, which closely follows John Wisdom as to its theoretical elements, in particular the notion of a “logical construction”, but which is more clearly eliminativist with regard to nations and which is original in terms of rather bold ethical consequences; to interpret Prior’s/Wisdom’s proposal as a promise of reduction by translation and to connect Prior’s/Wisdom’s ideas with John Searle’s recent work on social ontology.

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Niko Strobach
University of Münster

References found in this work

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.

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