By contrast, in world w′, when c′ is applied to s@, the properties of being a commonly-used medium of exchange is not essential to money. 41–55. In such contexts, whether the property of being a woman is conferred on someone depends on whether others perceive them as identifying as a woman. With respect to each relation, I argue that either it fails to accomplish the Dependence Task, or it fails to accomplish the Anti-Realist Task. In: Schmitt, FF (ed. For example, the fact that some people are permanent residents of the United States depends on there being various social conventions. I think not. Thomasson says this quite explicitly: ‘On this understanding, denying a relative ontological realist thesis regarding things of kind K should not automatically be equated with denying that there are entities of kind K, or else we could not distinguish, e.g., conceptualism or constructivism from eliminativism’ (2003b, 582 fn. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0048393109343114, Guala, F. 2014. Foundations for a Social Ontology. My argument in this section will parallel the argument given in the previous one: for any kind, K, if being F is essential to being K, then, K is necessarily F. If K is necessarily F, then it is not in our power to determine whether K is F—a fortiori it is not in our power to determine whether K is F by the way in which we use our words and concepts. Oxford University Press. As such, anyone who wishes to defend social kind anti-realism must provide an alternative explanation of how social kinds depend on our mental states in a way that impugns their reality. Second, they must show that social kinds are not real because of the dependence relation that obtains between them and our mental states. ), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence. For instance, consider the claim that water is necessarily H2O. Journal of the American Philosophical Association. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892631.001.0001, Hayek, F. 1943. Call this the Anti-Realist Task. Philosophers use the word ‘real’ to mark a wide variety of distinctions. Dordrecht: Klewer. Against Social Kind Anti-Realism. 21–64. 2018b. Realism definition, interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc. 13See Trogdon 2013, Raven 2015, and Bliss and Trogdon 2016 for an overview of this literature. If our linguistic or conceptual conventions had been different, then the essential properties of social kinds would have been different as well.22. Of course, proceeding with a merely figurative characterization of the sense of unreality social kind anti-realists attribute to social kinds is unsatisfying. Similarly, it is matter of convention that bills issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are money—indeed, it is a matter of convention that anything (e.g., bits of paper, gold coins, cowry shells, etc.) 97–122. That is, MD2 does not merely say that whether there are any women, or men, or money depends on there being certain social conventions. ), Varieties of Dependence Munich: Philosophia Verlag. The Realism vs. Anti-Realism Debate The mid-1980's saw a transformation of the debate over "scientific rationality" which had been unleashed by Kuhn's perceived challenge to the traditional claim that scientific belief is determined by evidence and reasoning. Interactive Kinds. Indeed, the truth of Fine’s claim is compatible with the falsity of social kind anti-realism. However, MD2 says something much stronger than this. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 4(1): 73–122. — … Thus, MD2 does not identify the way in which social kinds depend on our mental states. In: Gallotti, M and Michael, J (eds. Social Construction and Grounding. Infallibilism and Human Kinds. ” Realism has been chiefly concerned with the commonplaces of everyday life among the middle and lower classes, where character is a product of social factors and environment is the integral element in the dramatic complications. Although we use the same-shaped and same-sounding symbol—viz., ‘money’—in talking about both K1 and K2, we are actually talking about two different kinds—not the same kind but with different essential properties. Today, we can not only read many texts which might be attributed to a »postmodernist realism« but may even be watching the rise of a post-postmodernist realism. But those who defend social kind anti-realism do not argue that social entities are non-existent.8 Rather, social kind anti-realists are what Gideon Rosen call ‘modern idealists’—that is, anti-realists who admit that the allegedly unreal entities in question exist (Rosen 1994: 289). 53–68. Ontology and Social Construction. Ásta. How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 55(1): 73–85. Anti-realism in science. 19A similar claim is also defended by Ásta (2008b), who argues that we determine which properties are essential to an object. Meaning and Reference. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12376, Griffith, AM. Thus, the fact that X is modally correlated with Y does not establish that X depends on Y or vice versa. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2026694, Cooper, R. 2004. First, Searle’s defense of social kind anti-realism includes all social kinds, and not just a subset of them. Indeed, these considerations demonstrate that no modal existential analysis of mind-dependence can accomplish the Dependence Task. However, like the whole of the social world, the vast majority of the natural world is not metaphysically fundamental either. Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction. In this section, I consider an alternative relation of mind-dependence drawn from Ásta’s work on the metaphysics of social properties (2008, 2013, 2018). However, his argument for this conclusion differs from the one I offer here in important ways. ), Socializing Metaphysics: The Nature of Social Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mills argues that individuals acquire the property of being black or being white in virtue of the fact that we intersubjectively judge them to be black or white (Mills 1998). In other words, demonstrating that social kinds are mind-dependent is not sufficient to demonstrate that they are not real. However, by hypothesis, these properties are not essential to kind K2. 2015. But What Are You Really? However, Ásta also notes that her view differs from conventionalism in important ways (144–147). And Amie Thomasson argues that many social kinds are not real because they exist and have their nature in virtue of our thoughts about them (Thomasson 2003b).3 Call this view social kind anti-realism: Social kinds are not real because they are mind-dependent.4, In what follows, I argue that social kind anti-realism is not well founded.5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/met.30, Mason R, ‘Against Social Kind Anti-realism’ (2020) 3 Metaphysics 55 DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/met.30, Mason, Rebecca. Speakers do not refer to the same kind, with different essential properties in different worlds. pp. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rather, we determine which social kinds there are by imposing our concepts onto a world that is otherwise indifferent to our conceptual scheme. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755678.001.0001. 4). 11Searle’s original formulation of what I am calling MD1 is that a social kind, K, exists only if we collectively accept a constitutive rule with the following logical form: X (some conditions) counts as Y (the kind in question, or what Searle would call the ‘status function’) in C (the relevant context). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195396171.001.0001, Searle, J. ), Metaphysical Grounding Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 195–210. ), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. In: Sperber, D, Premack, D and Premack, AJ (eds. According to MD2, it is not merely that the existence or instantiation of social kinds is conventional. 22Ásta (2008b) defends a view of essentiality that is similar to conventionalism insofar as it aims to deliver the result that we determine which properties are essential to an object by how we use our concepts. To see why, it is important not to be misled by our use of the word ‘money’ in talking about the kind, K1, denoted by that word-form in the actual world, w@, and the kind, K2, denoted by the homonymous word-form ‘money’ in the possible world, w′. For example, according to the collective acceptance view, something is money only if we collectively accept that some conditions (e.g., being a bill issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing) suffice for being money.12 If we collectively accept that being a bill issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is sufficient for being money, then anything that is a bill issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is money. 2012. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. Although Thomasson explicitly endorses MD1, her motivation for endorsing the collective acceptance view suggests an alternative, essentialist interpretation of the relation that is supposed to obtain between social kinds and our mental states. Metaphysics, 3(1), 55–67. There is some world, w′ =
, such that the properties which are essential to money in the actual world, w@, are not essential to money in w′. His performance methods, known now as “method acting” or “Stanislavski’s system”, relied heavily on emotional memory and becoming the character. The essential properties of an individual are what it is to be that very individual, as opposed to some other individual. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-008-9068-y, Searle, J. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313390.001.0001, Tuomela, R. 2013. According to this interpretation of MD2, a social kind, K, is mind-dependent when we determine the general essence of being K, i.e., what it is to be K. How do we determine the essential properties of social kinds? The essence of X is what X is, or what it is to be X. Essences come in two varieties: individual and general. Ontological Dependence: An Opinionated Survey. The principal referent of literary realism is, ostensibly, reality. Similarly, some particular dollar bill, d, exists only if the set having d as its sole member does. It’s not … 17Those who reject the idea that grounding holds between facts, or those who believe that grounding claims ought to be expressed using a sentential operator, are invited to reformulate MD1-G accordingly. 1, 2020, pp. Mallon, R. 2016. In: Zalta, EN (ed. Philosophy of Science and Race. His work is . Given that MD1 does not accomplish the Dependence Task and given that MD1-G does not accomplish the Anti-Realist Task, the essentialist interpretation of mind-dependence implicit in Thomasson’s argument for the collective acceptance view is worth exploring. 5Khalidi (2016) considers several varieties of mind-dependence that are importantly different from those I consider in what follows. ), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. 2See Gilbert (1989); Hacking (1991, 1996, 2002); Hayek (1943); Khalidi (2010); Ruben (1989); Searle (1995, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014); Thomasson (2003a, 2003b); Tuomela (2007). A carving, c, is an abstraction from the actual conceptual conventions of the world in question. school, but wrote instead of becoming a doctor). 12Francesco Guala (2010, 2014) also argues that collective acceptance of some conditions c1…cn is neither necessary nor sufficient for the existence of social kinds. The view that social kinds (e.g., money, migrant, marriage) are mind-dependent is a prominent one in the social ontology literature.1 However, in addition to the claim that social kinds are mind-dependent, it is often asserted that social kinds are not real because they are mind-dependent.2 For instance, F.A. Other articles where Antirealism is discussed: philosophy of religion: Realism and antirealism: A renewed concern of philosophers of religion in the late 20th and early 21st centuries was to determine the sense in which religious claims may be said to be true. What Is Individualism in Social Ontology? DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/55.1.73, Egan, A. 2016. 2008a. Mason, R., 2020. On the surface, literary realism would appear to operate by rules set by the "real world", grounded in physical and social reality, and, significantly, outside of … Instead, proponents of social kind anti-realism argue that the relation that obtains between social kinds and our mental states (the Dependence Task), and which undermines their reality (the Anti-Realist Task), is a non-causal relation of some kind. Searle, J. Thomasson indicates that we do so by the way in which we use our words and apply our concepts (2003b). In other words, according to MD3, K is mind-dependent when something is K because it instantiates a property, F, and F is both (i) essential to being K, and (ii) a conferred property. Moreover, which objects are money is also a matter of social convention. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-017-0865-x, Hacking, I. However, it does not follow that my belief that Sacramento is the capital of California is not real.18 Thus, revising the collective acceptance view by appeal to the notion of ground does not support social kind anti-realism. Guide to Ground. These two philosophical discussions have opposing opinions on how different annotations generated in science are practical to the world. I maintain that essentiality is conferred by our use of concepts’ (138). For example, the nature and content of the relevant mental states does not make a difference. Modernist literature and art have been dominated by a disinterest in mere empirical and social reality and a discontent with habitualized perception and the world-view of convention, reason, and pragmatism. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9147-2_4, Epstein, B. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9147-2_5, Griffith, AM. Wright, C. 1992. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/met.30. 2015a. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-1008-2_17, Rosen, G. 2010. The essential properties of money do not vary in accordance with our conceptual practices. Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique. 2013. : opposition to or deliberate eschewal of realism especially in art and literature There are as many different varieties of antirealism as there are of realism—perhaps more. 2014. Raven, MJ. Gideon Rosen describes the distinction between realism and anti-realism as follows: What the realist mainly claims is the right to say things like this: “Our discourse about X concerns a domain of fact that is out there. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12020, Khalidi, MA. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00048402.2011.616900, Raven, MJ. ), Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Nonetheless, there is no prohibition on criticizing unclear and poorly developed views. Metaphysical Grounding. pp. Anti-realism is defined in opposition to realism, and so it is natural to ask first what realism is and to arrive at a characterization of anti-realism on this basis. 14Thanks to an anonymous referee for this suggestion. Realistic writers tried to find good things about society. According to proponents of social kind anti-realism, it is true, for example, that bills issued by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are money, and it is false that blue gym socks are money. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jso-2015-0045, Koslicki, K. 2012. In this section, I want to reconsider MD2 by appeal to a framework devised by Iris Einheuser to defend what she calls ‘conventionalism,’ the view that ‘some aspects of reality depend on our conventions’ (2006: 460). Anti-realism is defined in disagreement with realism; it is any position that is comprised of either the renunciation of an unprejudiced reality or the renunciation that verification-hypothetical assertions are false or true. ), Socializing Metaphysics: The Nature of Social Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Truth and Objectivity. The responses to this question took two broad forms. They are merely features of the world ‘as it is for us.’, Although it is not entirely clear how Searle intends to draw the distinction between features of the world that are ontologically subjective and those that are ontologically objective, he is very clear that mental states like pain are ontologically subjective (Searle 1995: 8). Several of the essays collected in Haslanger (2012), as well as Guala (2014), Khalidi (2010, 2013, 2015, 2016); Mallon (2003, 2016); and Root (2000) defend the thesis that social kinds are mind-dependent, but not that they are unreal. The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences. The term was coined as an argument against a form of realism Dummett saw as 'colorless reductionism'. As such, neither MD1 nor MD1-G supports social kind anti-realism. Likewise, Khalidi (2015) distinguishes between three kinds of social kinds. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 90(4): 687–701. For example, the general essence of water specifies what it is to be water, as opposed to gold or tigers. 16See Trogdon 2013, Raven 2015, and Bliss and Trogdon 2016 for overviews of some of these debates. Yet proponents of social kind anti-realism do not argue that such things as water and electrons are not real. To understand how the property of being a woman is conferred in this context, Ásta provides the following schema: Who: those with standing in a trans-inclusive subculture, C. What: the perception that a subject, S, has the property of identifying as a woman. 37–80. That is, it does not matter whether the relevant mental states are acceptances, beliefs or something else. In: Lawson, H and Appignanesi, L (eds. 2018a. Passinsky, A. Dordecht: Springer. Similarly, John Searle argues that social kinds are not real because they “only are what they are, because that is what we believe that they are” (Searle 2007: 4). 57–68. Rather, some other property, say, the property of being yellow, is essential to being money. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 46(2): 147–167. The idea that response-dependent properties like being red do not have the same metaphysical status as response-independent properties like being hexagonal is a tempting one. I argue that we cannot determine the identity or nature of any kind, social or not. According to Ásta, ‘the property of being an essential property of an object—essentiality—is conferred. Pettit, P. 1991. When evaluating this modal claim, sometimes we envision a possible world, w, in which the clear, potable liquid that fills the lakes and rivers, and falls from the sky, has the chemical composition XYZ, rather than H2O. For ease of exposition, I will treat grounding as a relational predicate, and I will take the relata of the grounding relation to be facts: (MD1-G) A kind, K, is mind-dependent =df The fact that an entity, x, is K is grounded in the fact that we collectively accept that some conditions, c1…cn, suffice for being K.17. To the contrary, such properties seem to be metaphysically on par with dispositional properties which do not implicate any mental states, such as the property of being disposed to shatter. The Facts of the Social Sciences. As such, it fails to support social kind anti-realism. pp. Protosociology, 18/19: 269–440. The observation of vast clouds of matter swirling around super-dense objects leads many physicists to state that they should be regarded as truth. Secondary Qualities and Self-Location. This methodology is falsificationism. In this section, I argue that this essentialist relation does not accomplish the Dependence Task either and therefore does not support social kind anti-realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 61(2): 335–360. 2018. Anti-realistic theatre is any form of theatre which rejects realism. First, when evaluating modal claims we sometimes hold our linguistic and conceptual conventions fixed and consider possible worlds that differ from the actual world with respect to which properties are instantiated. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565818.003.0007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4975.1979.tb00374.x, Burge, T. 1986. Nonetheless, in subsequent sections I consider various relations that might obtain between social kinds and our mental states. My argument would go through just the same if we were to call the properties that identify kinds ‘schmessential properties’ or ‘identifying properties.’ Thus, I do not believe that my claim that kinds are individuated by their essential properties is problematic. 277–319. MD2 expresses a conventionalist view of social kinds. To defend conventionalism, Einheuser calls attention to two ways in which modal claims can be evaluated. ), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Social Construction as Grounding. 2015b. 27This conclusion is compatible with its being the case that social kinds are not real for a different reason (e.g., because grounded entities are not real). Philosophical Studies, 174(10): 2449–2465. Indeed, if mental states are type or token identical to physical states of the brain, then there is even less reason to regard them as unreal. Munich: Philosophia Verlag. Next, I consider two ways of substantiating the intuition that conferred property kinds are not real. Moreover, social conventions may change in the future such that there ceases to be any permanent residents. Ontological Individualism vs. Anchor Individualism. Call this view social kind anti-realism. 347–383. Kinds defined in terms of conferred properties (i.e., conferred property kinds) are mind-dependent in the following sense: (MD3) A kind, K, is mind-dependent =df Being F is a conferred property and being F is essential to being K. According to MD3, a kind, K, is mind-dependent when at least one of its essential properties is a conferred property. pp. Individuals ostensibly acquire the essential properties of being a permanent resident by agreement or decree. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/jphil20121091232. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/met.30, Mason, R. (2020). The essential properties of a kind, K, specify what it is to be that kind, as opposed to some other kind, K*. (1992: 1). As such, it does not support social kind anti-realism. All else being equal, it would be better to criticize a view that is formulated in a clear and precise way. Some of the relations I consider are explicitly defended in the social ontology literature. 41–66. Ethics, 54(1): 1–13. 2007. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Realism and Response-Dependence. Philosophy Compass, 10(5): 322–333. According to Einheuser, a world consists not just of a substratum, but of a substratum plus a carving. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12220, Root, M. 2000. For example, according to MD2, the social kind money is mind-dependent because we determine which properties are essential to being money. Thus, in what follows I consider only non-causal relations of mind-dependence. The movement arose in opposition to Romanticism, which had dominated French literature and art since the late 18th century. Thus, each world, w, is represented by substratum-carving pair . 2010. »magic realism«) challenged Western modernity and its constructivist epistemology. Second, in the idiom of grounding, social kind anti-realism is the thesis that social kinds are not real because they are grounded in our mental states. The author has no competing interests to declare. According to Guala, the conditions c1…cn that we collectively accept as sufficient for being money are coordination devices which facilitate the requisite cooperative behavior which is necessary and sufficient for the existence of money. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-008-9230-4, Ásta. In fact, Dummett's writings on anti-realism can be seen as an attempt to integrate central ideas from the Philosophical Investigations into analytical philosophy. Following Einheuser, call the raw material the world provides—that is, the manifold of relevantly mind-independent properties—the substratum (Einheuser 2006: 461). 10According to Thomasson (2003a) and Khalidi (2015), only some social kinds depend on our mental states in this way. When: in a trans-inclusive subculture, C. Base property: the property of identifying as a woman. 1996. Both of these remarks have an essentialist flavor. Anti-realism is the view that the world is mind-dependent, and so derives many, perhaps all, of its features because of how it is perceived. Against Social Kind Anti-Realism. This is what I hope to show in this paper: being mind-dependent does not entail being unreal. ), Blackness Visible. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 40(2): 244–264. For example, MD2 says that it is conventional that money is a commonly used medium of exchange and measure and store of value. I think that it is plausible to interpret Searle’s constitutive rules as supplying sufficient conditions for the existence of instances of social kinds (i.e., some individual being a member of the kind in question), and so I think that MD1 is faithful to Searle’s view. For example, we determine which properties are essential to money by the way in which we use the word ‘money’ and apply the concept MONEY.20. In: Zahle, J and Collin, F (eds. Indeed, proponents of social kind anti-realism typically argue that physical, chemical, biological, and even psychological kinds are real, but many social kind are not. “Against Social Kind Anti-realism”. The sentences and ideas are in your mind (and mine, as I write them), but the computer, the server, the pixels, and your eyeballs are all real objects in the real world.This is the position of philosophical realism: the view that whatever we perceive is real, truly out there. Summing up, in this section I have argued that MD1 does not accomplish the Dependence Task, and that MD1-G does not accomplish the Anti-Realist Task. 2003a. Does it accomplish the Anti-Realist Task as well? pp. 4Social kind anti-realism is a prominent view in the literature, but it is not the only view. Astá defends the thesis that the property of being a man and the property of being a woman are conferred properties (Ásta 2013, 2018). In: Hale, B and Hoffmann, A (eds. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson. Social Construction, Social Roles, and Stability. 17–26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139149136.002, Guala, F. 2010. A relation can accomplish the Anti-Realist Task only if it accomplishes the Dependence Task. Burge, T. 1979. Rather, MD2 says that the very nature of these kinds is conventional. In the absence of such an explanation, there is no reason to endorse social kind anti-realism. 26Many discussions of response-dependence concern response-dependent concepts, see Johnston (1989), Pettit (1991), Wedgwood (1997), and Wright (1992). 2014. Latest Financial Press Releases and Reports, Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives, Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement | Accessibility. On this use of the term ‘real,’ if our assertions about some entities are not in the business of being true or false, then those entities are not real. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0012, Haslanger, S. 1995. pp. Ground. Thus, and in accordance with MD2, which properties are essential to money co-vary with our conceptual practices. pp. The metasemantic thesis is true but uninteresting, and the metaphysical claim is false (for the reasons outlined above). On this more ‘robust’ understanding of realism, a kind, K, is real when it has its boundaries ‘independently of how our concepts and representations might happen to divide things up, in particular, independently of what we believe about the conditions relevant to drawing those boundaries’ (2003b: 582). “Against Social Kind Anti-realism”. Journal of Social Ontology, 2(2): 223–246. Definition of anti-realism. 9One species of mind-dependence that I will not consider is causal mind-dependence. Rather, the main targets of my critique are those philosophers who maintain that a social kind, K, exists but is not real. ), Creations of the Mind Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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