Language and Social Construction

Signs and languages are very useful tools for social coordination and thus play a central role in most, if not all, social practices, but I doubt they are actually necessary to achieve meaningful social interaction or at least interactions that generate normative expectations, and not just patterns of actions and re-actions. Consider the example of […]

Elia Nathan Bravo on Witches and Empty Concepts

Elia Nathan Bravo did not believe in witches, not in the classical European sense of  a “sorceress with the power to cast curses thanks to a fidelity pact with the devil.” (Nathan Bravo 2002: 122)  Even more, she was certain that there were no witches, at least as certain as we are that there are […]

Against Exotic Philosophy, Again

When we approach other people’s thoughts, especially those that might prima facie to be very different from us, culturally, geographically, historically, etc., there is always the temptation to think that trying to fit their thought into our current epistemological, aesthetic, ontological, etc. categories would require forcing it into a conceptual straitjacket and that instead one […]

Max Scheler on the Phenomenology of Value

it is not that feeling that something is valuable gives un defeasible justification to believe that it has value; instead, the relation between feeling and value is not cognitive but constitutive: something is valuable because of how it feels (to us, obviously)

On miscontextualizing history

we can interpret historical texts either as saying something particular about their concrete context of creation, or something more general about more abstract philosophical problems – which therefore would still be relevant to philosophical discussions todays, but it would be a mistake to interpret those texts directly in our context as if they had been written today

Matters of Moral Taste

according to Rudy’s Strawsonian model of responsibility, there are matters of moral and political TASTE, so that just as it does not make sense to ask whether pistachio deserved my distaste for it, so it is nonsense to ask whether someone deserves indignation or resentment

What makes something “social”?

We use the term ‘social’ to refer to a wide range of phenomena at different levels of abstraction… and it is very likely that most if not all of the social phenomena we care about as philosophers are complex enough to occur at more than one ontological level.