Submit 300-500 word abstracts to:

Topics include:

  • Approaches to the metaphysics of the social world
  • Collective intentionality and group cognition
  • The nature of institutions, firms, and organizations
  • The metaphysics of race and gender
  • The nature of law and legal applications of social ontology
  • Collective and distributed responsibility
  • Group agency and the building of civic institutions

Interdisciplinary contributions are encouraged.

Notification of acceptance by April 15, 2018 

Collective Responsibility Symposium Call for Abstracts

In recent years, a number of new perspectives on collective responsibility have come available that bring questions about its (ir)reducibility in sharper relief (Björnsson, Collins, Copp, Isaacs, Lawford-Smith, Pettit, Pinkert, Schwenkenbecher, Wringe). Collectives can often do things that individuals cannot do. Examples range from micro: preventing a mugging, fish pollution or a ferry disaster Рto meso: fighting crime or racial discrimination Рto macro: ending climate change or world poverty. Does this entail that the collectives that can do these things are morally responsible for them?

Recent answers to this question suggest three avenues that should be investigated in parallel or in connection with one another. First, only collective agents can bear responsibility for collective outcomes. Second, non-agential collectives can be held responsible for them as well. Third, individuals have a responsibility to form collectives of either kind that should bring about the relevant outcomes. We invite contributions that investigate any of these three proposals independently or in relation to one another.

The symposium focuses on the relation between individual and collective responsibility and welcomes both bottom-up and top-down perspectives. Of special interest are so-called responsibility gaps (Braham and Van Hees, Copp, Pettit): sometimes the individual members of a collective have excuses due to which they are not to blame for some collective harm without obviously absolving the collective from blame. Do such responsibility gaps exist? If so, what is their significance? When and how does the responsibility of a collective distribute to its members? Contributions investigate how one of the three avenues mentioned answer one or more of these questions.

Responsibility in Society and Technology: Bridging the Gap
The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO) has generously funded an internationalisation grant the funding of which is dedicated to workshops and conferences on collective responsibility. The funded program is called ‘Responsibility in Society and Technology: Bridging the Gap’, or ‘ReST’ for short (IG-15-04). The program is run by Frank Hindriks, Arto Laitinen and Ibo van de Poel.

Deadline: February 28, 2018

Notification of acceptance by April 15, 2018 

Abstracts should be submitted to Easychair:

"International Social Ontology Society" is registered as a non-profit organization in Austria.

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