How are Bundles of Social Practices Constituted?

Critical Horizons:1-12 (2019)
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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 socio-ontological model of the constitution of social phenomena, which on the one side is understood in terms of habituation and materialization, and on the other side in terms of constitution through norms. The second side in the end prevails and leads to some sort of normative essentialism which involves a prescriptive meta-theoretical understanding of normativity combined with a socio-ontological model of constitutive rules. I then analyse two arguments that Jaeggi offers in support of her assumption that normative constitution is the deep structure of social practices. I name these the functional- teleological argument, and the crisis developmental argument, and argue that neither succeeds in proving that practices are not normatively underdetermined.

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Italo Testa
University of Parma

Citations of this work

Rahel Jaeggi’s theory of alienation.Justin Evans - 2022 - History of the Human Sciences 35 (2):126-143.
Rejoinder.Rahel Jaeggi - 2021 - Critical Horizons 22 (2):197-231.

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References found in this work

Two concepts of rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
Practical Reason and Norms.C. H. Whiteley - 1976 - Philosophical Quarterly 26 (104):287-288.
Rethinking ideology.Rahel Jaeggi - 2008 - In Boudewijn de Bruin & Christopher F. Zurn (eds.), New waves in political philosophy. Palgrave-Macmillan.

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