CfA Contemporary and Medieval Social Ontologies

14-16 March 2019, Bonn University

In The Construction of Social Reality (New York 1995) and Making the Social World. The Structure of Human Civilization (New York 2010), John Searle instigated the emergence of social ontology as a vital part of contemporary analytic philosophy. But a cursory glance at medieval debates reveals that many texts written between the 13th and 16th centuries dealt with the ontology of the social world in one way or another. Of course, medieval authors did not use the term “social ontology,” but they discussed the mode of existence of money, ownership, law, contracts, promises, language, communities and institutions, etc. That medieval authors were aware of and interested in questions concerning the reality of the social world gives rise to the guiding question of this conference: how do medieval and modern authors conceive of the mode of being of social objects and institutions? With this end in mind, we are looking for abstracts for papers from both historians of medieval philosophy (broadly construed to include late ancient philosophy and second scholasticism) and contemporary philosophers to participate in a fruitful exchange.

Deadline for abstracts: 30 July 2018
Deadline for notification: 15 August 2018

Contact information:
Christian Rode, Bonn University (
Jenny Pelletier, University of Leuven (

Get the pdf here.