May 31 - June 01, 2011
KONFERENCIJE

Social Ontology: From Intentionality to Documentality

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Social Ontology: From Intentionality to Documentality 
May 31 – June 01, 2011, Belgrade

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade,
Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy, Belgrade,
Labont – Laboratory for Ontology, University Of Turin

The Conference is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, the Balkan Trust for Democracy and the Erste Stiftung

Abstract

What keeps society together? According to John Searle is collective intentionality. Since Searle’s 1995 book, we find that idea at the centre of passionate discussions. More recently, in 2005, Maurizio Ferraris has suggested to substitute the notion of collective intentionality with the notion of “documentality”: the basis of social reality is the inscription of acts and the social objects that follow. Instead of the rule X counts as Y in C (which Searle himself acknowledged as flawed in his 2010’s book) we should have the rule Object = Inscribed Act. Social objects are the result of a social act (one that involves at least two persons or a person and a deputed machine), which is characterised by being registered on a piece of paper, in a computer file or even simply in the heads of persons.
Social objects — such as marriages, promises, bets, parties, revolutions and economic crises — fill up our world more than do stones, tress and coconuts, and they are more important for us, given that a good part of our happiness or unhappiness depends on them. Yet we do not always take account of them, and even more rarely do we ask what they are made of, taking them seriously only when we lose our wallet or train ticket, our passport or credit card and we set to searching, paying, phoning, writing e-mails and queuing in all sorts of offices. It is only then that we understand (too late, alas) that social objects are made of inscriptions, whether on paper or on some magnetic support, or even (in the case of the promises we make every day) in people’s heads.
Thus, the core of Ferraris’ proposal is shifting the focus of the research in social ontology from the issue of (collective and individual) intentionality to the importance of recording for social facts and institutions. One interesting consequence of this change of perspective is that social objects only exist if we are aware of them, and to be aware of them, we have, in the first instance, to remember them. This is why the contemporary world has seen a gigantic explosion of the means for writing and recording. They are not so much means for communicating (for that, the old cell phone were quite adequate), as means for ensuring the fundamental social good, namely recording.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE:

Petar Bojanic
Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory
University of Belgrade
Tel: 381-11-2646-242
bojanic@instifdt.bg.ac.rs

Maurizio Ferraris
Labont – Laboratory for Ontology
University Of Turin
maurizio.ferraris@labont.it

Ivan Mladenovic
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory
University of Belgrade
Tel: 381-11-2646-242
imladenovic@instifdt.bg.ac.rsivanmladenovic11@gmail.com

Ivo Kara-Pesic
Labont – Laboratory for Ontology
University Of Turin
ivo.karapesic@gmail.com

CONFERENCE PROGRAM


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