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EurAmerica Current News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Social Meaning and Reality

Social Meaning and Reality

Special Issue of EurAmerica: A Journal of European and American Studies

Guest Editors: Sally Haslanger and Hsiang-Yun Chen

Deadline: September 1, 2019


Human beings are social beings. We live and thrive as individuals, but together, we constitute groups. We regularly categorize people by gender, race/ethnicity, age, abilities, religious belief, political affiliation and sexual orientation, to name a few. But what exactly is the nature of such labeling and the resulting social groups, and how should we respond to their implications? This special issue aims to probe into the nature of groups in a social context.

The philosophy of social groups has important theoretical and practical significance. The way we understand and represent ourselves and others can condition our expectations, inform our preferences, and guide or drastically alter our behavior. For one thing, individuals often reason in terms of their social identities and social roles,and consequently act as group agents towards the common good for their group. For another, research has shown that the language young children hear can shape their perception of social groups, which may lead to stereotyping and prejudice. Furthermore, large gender gaps in educational and career choices may be traced back to forms of stereotyping.

Topics pertinent to the theme of the special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

■     Do groups have essences? Are social groups defined by natural characteristics, social features, or a combination of both?

■     What is the connection between self-identification and group membership? Is self-identification necessary and/or sufficient for being in a group?

■     What is the mechanism of group intention and action? How do individuals form collective intentionality, act as group agents, and perform coordinated actions?

■     How do we understand the semantics of social group terms? How do we analyze statements containing reference to groups, e.g., generics? If generic statements are potentially dangerous in inflicting implicit bias, how should we deal with them?


We invite submissions addressing these and other related topics for a special issue of EurAmerica, to be published in winter 2020. The deadline for submission is September 1st, 2019.

Papers should be submitted online here and indicate in the section “Other additional information” that the submission is for the special issue on “Social Meaning and Reality.” Guidelines for submissions may be found here. Note that all submitted papers should be anonymized for review.

*EurAmerica is an international peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute of European and American Studies (IEAS), Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Academia Sinica, the “national academy of sciences” of Taiwan, has a history of ninety years in promoting and undertaking scholarly research in the sciences and humanities. The IEAS, founded in 1974, is the home of a multidisciplinary team of researchers studying societies of Europe and the United States. EurAmerica is published four times a year.


** The special issue on Social Meaning and Reality is a follow-up of the 2019 IEAS Philosophy Conference on Meaning and Reality in Social Context, held on January 15-16, 2019.