Social ontology

What are social groups? What are corporations and institutions? What is money, language, and the law? Social ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the social world and how it works. ISOS is the international organization of philosophers, social theorists, cognitive scientists, economists, and other scholars in the field. We welcome academics and students from across the disciplines to join us.

Information on social ontology...

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Join the society and connect with other researchers in social ontology, disseminate your work, participate in conferences, contribute to the Journal of Social Ontology.

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ISOS supports two series of international conferences in the field of social ontology, held in alternating years.

Social Ontology 2021: Social Ontology 2021 runs from August 9-21. The conference is being run exclusively online, and the website is already up, with speaker videos posted. Look forward to seeing you there!

Conference Website


Journal of Social Ontology

The Journal of Social Ontology was founded by ISOS to feature work in social ontology and collective intentionality. The topics that JSO covers range from small-scale everyday interactions to encompassing societal institutions, from expert teams to hierarchical organizations, and from unintended consequences to institutional design. Membership in ISOS supports open access to the journal.

More about JSO

In Memoriam

ISOS remembers our long-time colleague and friend, Raimo Tuomela (1940-2020).

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2022 Essay Competition

The ISOS essay competition for junior scholars runs bienially. Information regarding the 2022 competition will be posted in the coming months.

Small grants

We are pleased to announce an exciting new initiative from ISOS. One of the key aims of ISOS is to foster innovative approaches and collaborations in social ontology, as well as to support research in social ontology regionally and globally. In service of this, we are starting a new pilot program to help fund workshops in social ontology. Grants in the 2022 round will range from $250-$1000 (USD), and ISOS will, if desired, also work with recipients to help publicize them. We favor proposals that aim to bring together new groups of researchers and topics, and that provide information about the workshop to others. We especially welcome applications from underrepresented regions.

For this round, we will be reviewing applications in November, so proposals will be due by 31 October 2021. More details will be posted soon. This year’s round is a pilot program: we hope to make the application process simple, and to learn from this year’s recipients how best to develop and support the global social ontology community. Please start thinking about how this program might work for you.

"International Social Ontology Society" is registered as a non-profit organization in Austria.

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