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Displaying: 1-10 of 710 documents


1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Gerhard Preyer, Georg Peter Introduction: Social Ontology Revisited
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part i: joint commitment, obligations and rights
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Antonella Carassa, Marco Colombetti Steps to a Naturalistic Account of Human Deontology
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In this paper we outline a theory of human deontology from a naturalistic perspective. In doing so we aim to explain how human beings deal with deontic relations (like obligations and rights) thanks to a specialised psychological infrastructure, which evolved to support human cooperation. This infrastructure includes a repertoire of emotions that play a crucial role in evaluating the conformity of actions relative to a deontic relation, in displaying an agent’s attitude toward their own actions or those of their deontic partners, and in motivating suitable behavioural responses. Finally we discuss the special case of interpersonal deontology, analysing its properties and relating it to Gilbert’s concept of joint commitment.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Thomas H. Smith Joint Commitment
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I defend some of Gilbert’s central claims about our capacity jointly to commit ourselves, and what follows from an exercise of it. I argue that, to explain these claims, we do not need to suppose, as Gilbert does, that we ever are jointly committed, that is, jointly in a state of being committed. I offer a diagnosis of why the gratuitousness of this supposition has been overlooked.
part ii: collective belief, conversation, and telling
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Alban Bouvier Joint Commitment Model of Collective Beliefs: Empirical Relevance in Social Science
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For almost three decades, Margaret Gilbert has introduced a new account of social facts taking “joint commitments”, not only explicit but also implicit, as the cement of sociality properly understood. Gilbert has used this original account of collective phenomena to clarify a variety of issues, both in the philosophy of rights and in the philosophy of the social sciences. This paper focuses on the latter domain; it argues that although Durkheim and Mauss are central references in her pioneering work, On Social Facts, Gilbert’s model has been underestimated in the fields of sociology and anthropology. This may come from the fact that Gilbert provides the reader with only imaginary examples. To overcome this difficulty, Bouvier investigates several historical examples in two related domains:, the political and the religious. Another reason for this relative lack of interest may come from Gilbert’s very unconventional interpretation of the Durkheimian explanation of social beliefs. Although, on the one hand, her “contractualist” (or Rousseauist) interpretation permits a sharp illumination of certain social facts, it may, on the other hand, impede the recognition of the specificity of other kinds of beliefs, which sociologists and anthropologists—including Durkheim—usually consider as collective beliefs. Bouvier, by contrast, introduces alternative models, illustrating them with similar, although ultimately distinct from previous, historical examples.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Frederick F. Schmitt Remarks on Conversation and Negotiated Collective Belief
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Gilbert (1989) and Gilbert and Priest (2013) have argued that paradigmatic conversations involve a collectivity of the conversers who participate in the conversation, in the sense that the conversers put forth and negotiate proposals of propositions to be collectively believed by them. Here I explore the plausibility of this Negotiated Collective Belief (NCB) thesis. I begin by supporting a more basic claim, that the nature of conversation itself entails that a conversation always involves a collectivity of the conversers. I then endorse and supplement Gilbert and Priest’s argument for the NCB thesis. I trace resistance to the thesis to the view that collective belief plays no important role in two primary social ends of conversation, exchanging information and making personal connections. I concede that this is so, but I endorse the view (with roots in Taylor 1985) that collective belief does play an important role in a different primary social end of conversation, the creation of a public space of thought. Thus, the NCB thesis is supported by argument and contributes to an explanation of how conversation fulfills one of its primary social ends.
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Marija Jankovic Telling and Mutual Obligations in Communicative Action
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In telling the utterer enters into a relationship with an addressee. This relationship appears to be a normative one, i.e., it entails that an utterer has certain obligations to the addressee. But how can an act of telling create such obligations? In this paper, I propose what I call a collectivist account of telling. On this account, the core notion of telling is that of an utterer’s contribution to a joint action. Margaret Gilbert’s rich work on joint action emphasizes the obligations agents of joint action have to one another. This normatively robust view of joint action, coupled with the conception of core telling as a participatory act, points toward the possibility of explaining the obligations speakers have to their addressees as, at least in some cases, the sort of obligations participants in joint action quite generally have to each other to act in a way appropriate to the joint activity.
part iii: collective emotions and emotional sharing
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Felipe León, Dan Zahavi How We Feel: Collective Emotions Without Joint Commitments
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This article engages critically with Margaret Gilbert’s proposal that joint commitments are necessary for collective emotions. After introducing Gilbert’s concept of joint commitment (Section 2), and the joint commitment account of collective emotions (Section 3), we argue in Section 4 that research from developmental psychology challenges the necessity of joint commitments for collective emotions. In that section, we also raise a more principled objection to Gilbert’s account, independently of developmental considerations. Section 5 develops a complementary line of argument, focused on the notion of mutual recognition. While we agree with Gilbert that mutual recognition has an important role to play in an account of collective emotions, we take issue with her attempt to analyse face-to-face based mutual recognition in terms of the concept of joint commitment. We conclude by sketching an alternative analysis of collective emotions that highlights the role of interpersonal identification and socially mediated self-consciousness.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Mikko Salmela Collective Emotions and Normativity
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There are two opposite views about the relation of collective emotions and normativity. On the one hand, the philosopher Margaret Gilbert (1997, 2002, 2014) has argued for years that collective emotions are by constitution normative as they involve the participants’ joint commitment to the emotion. On the other hand, some theorists especially in sociology (Durkheim 2009, 2013a; Collins, 2004) have claimed that the values of particular objects and/or social norms originate from and are reinforced by collective emotions that are intentionally directed or associated with the relevant objects or actions. In this chapter, I discuss these opposing views about the relation of collective emotions and normativity, defending the latter view. While collective emotions typically emerge in situations in which some shared value or concern of the participants is at stake, I suggest that collective emotions may also ontologically ground norms in the manner suggested by Durkheim. I present support for this view from a recent sociological case study on the emergence of punitive norms in the social movement Occupy Geneva.
part iv: plural subjects, “we”, coordination and convention
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Donald L. M. Baxter Social Complexes and Aspects
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Is a social complex identical to many united people or is it a group entity in addition to the people? For specificity, I will assume that a social complex is a plural subject in Margaret Gilbert’s sense. By appeal to my theory of Aspects, according to which there can be qualitative difference without numerical difference, I give an answer that is a middle way between metaphysical individualism and metaphysical holism. This answer will enable answers to two additional metaphysical questions: (i) how can two social complexes have all the same members and (ii) how can there be a social complex of social complexes?
10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 35
Ludger Jansen We are no Plural Subject
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In On Social Facts (1989) and subsequent works, Margaret Gilbert has suggested a plural subject account of the semantics of ‘we’ that claims that a central or standard use of ‘we’ is to refer to an existing or anticipated plural subject. This contrasts with the more general approach to treat plural pronouns as expressions referring to certain pluralities. I argue that (i) the plural subject approach cannot account for certain syntactic phenomena and that (ii) the sense of intimacy, which Gilbert cites as evidence for her plural subject account, has a different source than the existence of joint commitments constituting a respective plural subject. Moreover, (iii) there is a wide variety of phenomena in the linguistic record, which, while not constituting conclusive evidence against the plural subject account, nevertheless, are dealt with better by the plurality account. ‘We’ thus refers to pluralities, which may or may not be plural subjects. The precise analysis of ‘we’ thus reveals a multi-layered ontology of groups.