Deadline: March 27th, 2011

Making the Social World
Deadline of Submissions: March 27th, 2011
Publication of the issue: July, 2012

Advisory editor:
Francesca De Vecchi (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, PERSONA)

Call for papers:
The Research Unit “Person, social cognition and normativity” (Prin 2008) and the Centre of Research in Phenomenology  and Sciences of the Person at San Raffaele University, Milan, organize an International Conference  and a Spring School on Making the Social World (June 7-9, 2011)
“What is the mode of existence of nations-states, money, corporations, ski clubs, summer vacations, coktail parties, and football games, to mention just a few? I attempt to explain the exact role of language in the creation, constitution, and maintenance of social reality. (…) One way to highlight the puzzling character of social ontology is to point out an apparent paradox in our understanding of  social reality. We make statements about social facts that are completely objective—for example, Barack Obama is president of the United States, the piece of paper in my hand is a twenty-dollar bill, and so on. And yet, though these are objective statements, the facts corresponding to them are all created by human subjective attitudes. An initial form of the paradox is to ask, How is it possible that we can have factual objective knowledge of a reality that is created by subjective opinions? One of the reasons I find that question so fascinating is that it is part of a much larger question: How can we give an account of ourselves, with our peculiar human traits—as mindful, rational, speech-act performing, fre-will having, social, political human beings—in a world that we know independently consists of mindless, meaningless, physical particles?” (Searle 2010: ix-x). In addressing these issues, Searle puts forward a very rich conceptual apparatus in which notions such as “status functions”, “collective intentionality”, “deontic powers”, “desire independent reasons for action”, “constitutive rules”, “institutional facts” play a crucial role. Discussing such notions (and their contributions to currently debated issues) is the purpose of our Spring School, whose participants – beside the invited speakers – will be selected on the basis of their proposed abstracts.
Invited speakers: John R. Searle (University of California, Berkeley), Amedeo Giovanni Conte (University of Pavia), Paolo Di Lucia (University of Milan), Cristina Meini (University of Piemonte), Maurizio Ferraris (University of Turin), Andrea Moro (Iuss, Pavia), Hans Bernard Schmid (University of Basel).
Main sessions:

  1. Social ontology
  2. Collective Intentionality, Social Cognition
  3. Normativity, Language


About 18 scholars (PhD candidates and young researchers) will be selected (by a double blind review) to present their paper on some topics of John R. Searle’s Making the Social World (Oxford University Press 2010) in one of the following scheduled sections:

  1. Social ontology
  2. Collective Intentionality, Social Cognition
  3. Normativity, Language


Contributed papers will be scheduled for a 25-minute presentation (including discussion).

Abstracts must be written in English and be prepared for blind refereeing, with any and all revealing references to the author removed, including personal acknowledgments . Abstracts should indicate the title of the paper and the session for which it is submitted. Please submit both a short abstract of no more than 1.000 characters (spaces included), and a long abstract of no more than 5.000 characters (references included).

Notification of acceptance is expected by May 2nd 2011.
Abstracts should be sent to: