Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition brings together contributions discussing issues arising from theoretical and empirical research on social ontology and social cognition. It is the first comprehensive interdisciplinary collection in this rapidly expanding area. The contributors draw upon their diverse backgrounds in philosophy, cognitive science, behavioral economics, sociology of science and anthropology.
Based largely on contributions to the first Aarhus-Paris conference held at the University of Aarhus in June 2012, the book addresses such questions as: If the reference of concepts like money is fixed by collective acceptance, does it depend on mechanisms that are distinct from those which contribute to understanding the reference of concepts of other kinds of entity? What psychological and neural mechanisms, if any, are involved in the constitution, persistence and recognition of social facts?
The editors’ introduction considers strands of research that have gained increasing importance in explaining the cognitive foundations of acts of sociality, for example, the theory that humans are predisposed and motivated to engage in joint action with con-specifics thanks to mechanisms that enable them to share others’ mental states. The book also presents a commentary written by John Searle for this volume and an interview in which the editors invite Searle to respond to the various questions raised in the introduction and by the other contributors.