Upcoming Talk at ENPOSS

I’ll admit it upfront, I’m joining the illustrous club of academics who present on the same topic twice in a row. Attendees of the ENPOSS conference in Cracow can look forward to a talk revealing the weakness of attempts to analyse group membership as mereological parthood. In particular, I look at nested groups just as I did at the ENSO V. However, I promise that the audience will hear new material. I got feedback at the ENSO conference and will try to address it in my talk (although I will have only so much time to respond to potential criticisms).

I talk on Thursday 21st of September (see program).

Advertisements

Am I a Group Agent?

Presumably not, but maybe it’s more difficult to tell than it seems.

Kirk Ludwig attended my recent talk at the ENSO V conference and raised an interesting issue during the Q&A. I argued against analysing being a group member as being a part of a group (plus a restriction to individuals). He suggested that there is an easier argument against analysing group membership as such a restricted parthood: Even if I had a part who was an agent, I would not be a group agent. Say it turned out that one of my body parts was an agent, this body part would not be a member of me and I would not be a group. At least that is what Ludwig proposed.

I tentatively replied that perhaps one might consider the body part a member after all and I might turn out to be a group, but Ludwig wasn’t swayed by my bold assertion and we left it there. After all, his point wasn’t threatening my argument. It only provided further support for my overall conclusion. Nonetheless, I keep thinking about Ludwig’s argument and I’m not sure I agree with him. Continue reading “Am I a Group Agent?”

Reminder: Upcoming Talk on Nested Groups

I’m going to give a talk about nested groups at the ENSO V at Lund next Thursday. (See previous post and official conference website.)

The topic of my paper changed less than papers you submit half a year in advance tend to do. I’ll discuss how cases of nested groups, such as a philosophy department being nested in a university, bear on our ontology of groups.

Mereology plays a bigger role than in my original draft. My talk has significant repercussions for how can think about the members and parts of groups. For more details, attend my talk! (Or drop me a line and I’ll share a draft with you.)

Talk: Nested Groups at ENSO V

It is still a while away, but if you are planning your summer trips you might want to include the fifth conference of the European Network on Social Ontology or ENSO V for short. It takes places in Lund from the 30th of August until the 1st of September (program).

I will speak on the 31st of August on the topic of nested groups. Don’t be afraid if you have never heard the phrase “nested groups” before, the terminological choice was mine. I am going to talk about groups which are in some sense within other groups. For example, marketing departments are usually nested within larger corporations. My talk revolves mostly around unpacking the way in which groups can be nested within one another.

My paper remains work-in-progress, so I do not want to get too specific at this point. Generally I want to defend that groups can be parts and members of other groups. That sounds innocent at first, but only at first. As so often philosophy becomes difficult when one tries to get the details straight.

Talk in Milan: Homuncularism and Group Agency

As mentioned in a previous post, I will give a talk on homuncularism and group agency in Milan tomorrow. More information on the workshop, which is about cognition in groups, can be found on the website of the organisers.

There are two ideal types of talks: There are talks where you already have a full paper before you apply and then try to tour the world with your paper. And there are talks where you submit a vague abstract and then try to figure out what you are actually saying. My talk in Milan falls into the latter category. If you plan to attend and hope to hear me talk exactly about what I promised in the abstract, you are in for a disappointment. Continue reading “Talk in Milan: Homuncularism and Group Agency”

Workshop: Cognition in Groups

On the 31st of March I will present at a workshop in Milan on Cognition in Groups. My topic will be homuncularism and group agency. More specifically, I will talk about how the homuncularism objection might and might not apply to theories of group agency.

More information on the workshop and my talk can be found on the website of the organisers.