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Event: Conference: “Social Complexes: Parts and Wholes II. Perspectives from Ethics, Metaphysics and Philosophy of Action”

Event date June 08, 2015 - June 10, 2015
Location Gothenburg (Sweden)
Host(s) University of Gothenburg
Event website/information

Conference: “Social Complexes: Parts and Wholes II. Perspectives from Ethics, Metaphysics and Philosophy of Action” – Gothenburg (Sweden), June 8-10, 2015.

During the last few decades, philosophers have taken an ever increasing interest in the nature and ethics of social and institutional reality; studying and then formulating intricate theories about it and its inhabitants from a number of different perspectives, including those of metaphysics, formal ontology (mereology), social ontology, the philosophy of action and responsibility, and the philosophy of (collective) intentionality. However, attempts to merge findings from these different philosophical sub-disciplines are still largely absent.

In March 2012, a number of Swedish philosophers from the universities of Gothenburg, Lund, Malmö, and Umeå therefore established an interdisciplinary research group (Metaphysics and Collectivity) with the goal of creating a single platform for philosophical research on the nature and ethics of social and institutional reality.

In October 2013, the group organized its first conference – Social Complexes Parts and Wholes: Perspectives from Metaphysics, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Action – at Lund University (the conference’s website can be found here). June 8-10 2015, the group will organize a second conference on the same theme, this time at Gothenburg University. The purpose of this conference is to bring together leading philosophers from the various sub-disciplines to encourage and initiate cross-disciplinary research and collaboration. Topics that might be addressed include: What is the mode of existence of social and institutional entities, and how are they related to the material aspects of reality? Are traditional mereological concepts and theories applicable to them? Can social groups and organizations be agents in their own right? Are notions of collective responsibility or specific rights and obligations of collectives sensible? To what extent does the metaphysics of social and institutional entities bear on their ethics, and vice versa?

Speakers include:

  • Lynne Rudder Baker (University of Massachusetts Armherst)
  • Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania)
  • David Copp (UCDavis)
  • Emma Dayer-Tieffenbach (Université de Genève)
  • Dave Elder-Vass (Loughborough University)
  • Kendy Hess (College of the Holy Cross)
  • Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)
  • Christian List (London School of Economics)
  • Seumas Miller (Charles Sturt University)
  • Elisabeth Pacherie (Institut Jean Nicod)
  • Amie Thomasson (University of Miami)

Venue: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg

Room T302, Olof Wijksgatan 6, Gothenburg

The detailed schedule and further information will be posted here:

Seating is limited and registration required. To register, please send a message by June, 1 to:

The conference is sponsored by the Erik & Gurli Hultengren’s Foundation for Philosophy, the MRRI project, and the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg.

The conference is organized by the Metaphysics & Collectivity group:

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