Public Philosophy and Social Ontology: Rights and Responsibilities for a Just Society

August 26, 2019 - August 30, 2019
The Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Groningen

Oude Boteringerstraat 52

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


University of Pennsylvania
University of Groningen
Australian Catholic University
Monash University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Groningen
University of Groningen
University of Groningen
Universität Bayreuth


Brown University
University of Groningen

Topic areas

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How do people live together? And how should they live together? Answering these questions requires a conception of society, and of the role that social practices, institutions and organizations play in it. But what are these social structures? What are their functions? And how can they contribute to a just society?

The main themes of this summer school are:

  • Social practices and institutions: incentives & norms, nature & function
  • Social construction and social change: identity / discrimination
  • Social groups and collective agents: responsibility & rights
  • Social structures and individual autonomy: concord / conflict

This summer school brings together experts in social theory, social ontology, ethics, and political philosophy. It serves to bring recent developments in social ontology to bear on public philosophy.

Target group

The summer school is designed for PhD students in philosophy with a background or interest in the social sciences. Research Master students and post-docs are also welcome to apply.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  1. gain a deeper understanding of some of the main approaches in social ontology
  2. learn how to apply them to issues in public philosophy – including collective rights and responsibilities
  3. improve communication skills within the research community
  4. meet experts and other Phd students in social ontology and public philosophy


The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to do assignments, to actively participate in the discussions and to write a paper at the end of the course.
Participants will receive a certificate of attendance after successful completion of the course.


  • € 350 (for non-OZSW members)
  • € 300 (for OZSW members)

This fee includes lunch (5x), dinner (4x), and coffee and tea throughout the day.

Accommodation is not included. Participants need to arrange their own accommodation. For a list of possibilities, kindly contact the organizers.

Application procedure

In order to apply, please send an email with the subject line “Registration for Summer School” to Ryan Doody, [email protected] including 1) your CV, and 2) a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 page), before 31 March 2019. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent 30 April 2019. If you are accepted you will be asked to register through the website in order to pay the fee. Your registration will be complete only after you have paid the fee.


The summer school is organized by Ryan Doody and Frank Hindriks. For questions concerning the content of the course, please contact [email protected] For practical inquiries, please contact [email protected]

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March 31, 2019, 7:45pm CET

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