CFP: Frontiers in Social Metaphysics

Submission deadline: October 1, 2022

Conference date(s):
November 11, 2022

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Conference Venue:

School of Philosophy, Wuhan University
Wuhan, China

Topic areas


Frontiers in Social Metaphysics: Call for Abstracts


The School of Philosophy at Wuhan University, in collaboration with the International Social Ontology Society, is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an in-person event for professional philosophers in Mainland China to present and develop their research on topics within social metaphysics. We are now seeking abstracts (≈250 words) from anyone interested in attending. The tentative date of the event is 11 November 2022 and the deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 October 2022.

NB: This event is intended to be held in person. Given the government’s ongoing restrictions on travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this means that only people who will already be in Mainland China can attend. In the event that the government’s restrictions change, we will adjust accordingly.  


For many years, philosophers working in the field of analytic metaphysics have discussed the nature of ordinary objects like human bodies as well as esoteric entities like space-time worms. But they have had comparatively little to say about social entities – entities that, in some sense, depend on social factors. Frontiers in Social Metaphysics is founded on the premise that this difference of focus is a historical accident. The metaphysics of social reality is just as interesting and significant as that of so-called "traditional" metaphysics. This is especially true in China, given its increasingly complex social structure, its rich philosophical tradition in examining the social dimensions of life, and its growing status in analytic philosophy. China, then, is fertile ground for social metaphysics.  

The purpose of the event is two-fold. First, it is intended to provide an opportunity for philosophers to develop their research projects by sharing their works in progress and receiving constructive feedback from other experts working on similar topics. Second, the event is intended to build sustainable professional connections between philosophers in Mainland China working in social metaphysics. Ideally, it will be the basis upon which we organize future events for this new and growing research area.  


To apply, please send an abstract to [email protected] by 1 October 2022. The abstract can be about any topic within social metaphysics, broadly construed. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • the metaphysics of organized social groups; 
  • collective intentionality; 
  • the relationship between “the social” and “the natural”; 
  • the metaphysics of laws and legal systems; 
  • the ontology of specific social objects (e.g. money, art, games); 
  • the metaphysics of social categories (e.g. race, gender, sexuality); 
  • how social norms and conventions are created and sustained; 
  • social construction as it relates to other areas of research (e.g. mental disorder in the philosophy of science); 
  • issues regarding the goals and methodology of social metaphysics; 
  • the positions of specific historical figures.   

While recent work in social metaphysics is predominantly done from the perspective of analytic philosophy, we are interested in cultivating new approaches. We are especially interested in comparative work or work on neglected historical figures.  

When submitting, please be sure to include (i) your name, (ii) your institutional affiliation, (iii) your contact information, and (iv) an abstract between 150–350 words that clearly indicates the topic and thesis.   

Any questions, queries, or concerns should be sent directly to: [email protected]  


The working language of the event will be English. Translation services will be available upon request.  

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