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1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Editorial Board Special Issue of Balkan Journal of Philosophy 2014 - Social Ontology
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2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Dave Elder-Vass Social Emergence: Relational or Functional?
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This paper outlines a relational variety of the theory of emergence and claims that it can be applied more fruitfully to sociology than the functional variety advocated by Keith Sawyer. Sawyer argues that the wildly disjunctive multiple realizability of social properties justifies a nonreductive approach to causal explanation in the social sciences (but also ontological individualism). In response, this paper argues, first, that the social properties he discusses are not wildly disjunctive, and secondly, that we can explain their causal significance more effectively with a relational emergence theory linked to the critical realist account of causal powers. Although these properties are multiply realizable, they are not emergent because they are multiply realizable, but despite being so.
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Roberto Poli A Preliminary Glance at Social Innovation from an Ontological Point of View
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After presenting four basic ontological frameworks for social being, the paper adopts the two-layered approach defended by Bhaskar and Poli. Within this framework, the relation between emergents and latents is briefly described. Since most emergents are ephemeral (weak signals), the problem arises of what may eventually stabilize emergents, and values are seen as promising stabilizers for emerging new behaviors. By exploiting the case of technological innovation, the paper raises the broader issue of social innovation and the problem of its stabilization.
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Dale Jacquette Searle on Collectively Intending Symbolic Social Institutional Status
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Searle’s social ontology is criticized on two grounds: (1) that Searle’s arguments do not adequately support his commitment to logically and conceptually irreducible collective-to-individual intentionality, and (2) his formulation of the constitutive rule of collective intentionality conferring symbolic social status on intended objects does not express the required concept as clearly, unequivocally, or economically as available alternatives. Two corresponding positive recommendations are offered in response to both criticisms for developing a conservatively improved neo-Searlean philosophy of social phenomena,practices and institutions.
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Simon Smith Unfair to Social Facts: John Searle and the Logic of Objectivity
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John Searle's Making the Social World addresses a question that is as central to philosophy in general as it is to Social Ontology. It concerns the involvement of human beings in the creation of seemingly objective facts. The facts in which Searle is interested are ‘institutional’ facts. Such facts are objective; they are also, Searle argues, ‘created by human subjective attitudes’. It is my contention that this apparent paradox arises from a misconception of 'subjective' and 'objective'. For Searle, these terms are synonymous with 'mind-dependent' and 'mindindependent'. Following the scientist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi, I argue that 'objectivity' is better understood as 'theoretical' and therefore worthy of universal recognition by rational agents. Being a matter of reason, objectivity contrasts, not with mind-dependence, but immediate experience. It follows that Searle's paradox is a function of the contradictory terms in which it is stated.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Arto Laitinen Group Minds and the Problem of the First Belief
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This article presents theories of group belief with a problem. It is conceptually and psychologically impossible for there to be a believer with just one belief. Forconceptual reasons, a single belief could not have any content without the background of other beliefs. Or even if it could, it would for psychological reasons be impossible for the believer to know or understand the content of its sole belief. With certain plausible assumptions, however, groups would at some point of time have to have only one belief. (The assumption of discontinuity between the group’s and its members’ commitments leads to this.) If it is conceptually or psychologically impossible for the group to acquire its first belief, it can never come to acquire any beliefs at all. The article ends by discussingvarious ways out of this dilemma.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Romulus Brâncoveanu Language, Subjective Meaning and Nonlinguistic Institutional Facts
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This article comparatively explores Searle’s conception of society, which prioritizes language and intentionality in producing social things and Max Weber’s conception of social action as human behavior, in which the acting individual attributes subjective meaning to his or her behavior by orientation to the behavior of others. My aim is to show that the “nonlinguistic institutional facts” which in Searle’s terms seem to emerge in the absence of any constitutive rule linguistically expressed can be described in Weber’s terms of attaching a subjective meaning to individual behavior. In this way, we may add a minimal sociology to Searle’s conceptual apparatus in order to grasp contingent and historical dimensions of the functioning of institutions.
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Mihai D. Vasile From Logo-Kosmos to Techne-Kosmos in the Ontology of the Human
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The author tries to prove that Plato’s theory of thecreation of kosmos by Demiourgos as conforming to a pre-existing model – namely “ho LÍgos” – by way of thepossession of a peculiar art, i.e. “to-know-how”, has a contemporary correspondent in the image built by science of the universe. Even the emergence of evil in such a rational and ordered universe has a replication in the religious myth of Lucifer’s rebellion.The paper is intended to show that, in the history of post-modern culture, three periods of global life are known as characterized through the connection betweenscience, philosophy and religion.The first is described in the dialogue Timaeus, where Plato imagined the creation of the world by Demiourgos, according to the Logos: “Cosmos was forged by a model – Logos – which can be designed with reason – Nous”; “Once he saw that the universe is moving and living, born as holy habitation of the immortal gods, begotten of the Father who was seized by delight and rejoicing. He had thought about how to make it even more like the model – Logos. And how this model – Logos – is an eternal creature, Demiourgos tried to perfect the universe, in this regard also”; “He has made a smooth body, uniform and equal everywhere from centre, whole and absolutely right-down, composed of perfect bodies”. Ptolemy, drawing on an Aristotelian conception of time and eternity, developed, in his Almagest, a vision of the cosmos founded on the ideas of Aristotle’s Physics describing a geocentric universe full of symbols. But this universe could not be brought to the eye as improved, as a universal astronomical system limited by the firmament of the fixed stars beyond which Christian theology has placed Paradise and Hell.The second period can be described through what Max Weber says about modernity, a process of “Entzauberung der Welt”, dramatically accelerated sincethe scientific revolution of Galileo, accomplished by the globalization of the mechanistic empire, by replacing Aristotelian and Thomist space, which is closed, limited and heterogeneous, by a homogeneous infinite space. Meta-science that favoured the emergence of modern scientific revolution is related to the logos problem of evolution and its solutions, where the core terminology means equally reason, rationality, science, and at the same time speech, word, verb, having religious or transcendent connotations but secularised in an historical horizon.The contemporary period – the third, the end of the second and the beginning of the third millennium – is placed under the heresy of the solidarity between science and technology, characterized by the technefication of science designating a process whereby techniques are predominant in traditional research methods, opening an age of cybernetic heresy.
9. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Sorin –Tudor Maxim Disruptive Individuals and Prospective Ethics
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Throughout the history of philosophical thinking, ethics has almost never been associated with ontology because the moral approach is about the action while the ontological approach is about the being. The prospective approach confers to moral philosophy a genuine ontological direction, an ontology of the human, since it aims at identifying the problems of (human) existence, which no longer describes “what should be” but mostly “what can be”, thus anticipating the ways of human existence in a future world.The challenges raised by disruptive innovations and the environmental issue require the critical eye of moral philosophy regarding the impact of technological progress is having in redefining the human condition of tomorrow’s society; all the more so as we are facing a regrettable backwardness of moral progress, which does not seem to keep pace with the spectacular changes in science and technology. The wisdom of ethical reflection refers to a feeling of concern for both present and future humanity as a whole,relating not only to immediate reality but, especially, anticipating what might happen.
book reviews
10. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ioan-Alexandru Gradinaru Re-visiting Cicero's Lessons: Eloquence, Persuasion and Contemporary Discursiveness
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11. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Clark Glymour The Berlin Group and the Philosophy of Logical Empiricism, Nickolay Milkov and Volker Peckhous, eds.
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12. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Dušan Stamenković A Confluence of Cognitive Theories
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