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Social Ontology 2020

The 12th Biennial Collective Intentionality Conference

July 13–16, 2020, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Important Update: Social Ontology 2020 to be held online

Dear colleagues,

Every year, the social ontology and collective intentionality conferences have been wonderful and productive opportunities for us to get together, talk with one another, discuss new work, and push forward this exciting and growing area of philosophy. This year, the current state of the pandemic makes it impossible for us to have the meeting in person. We’d been greatly looking forward to seeing you all in Neuchâtel, and are disappointed not to be able to have the conference in person.

For this year, however, the organizers of Social Ontology 2020 and the executive and steering committees of ISOS have agreed that we will hold the conference online. There are many details to work out. We want to put together as interesting and productive a conference as possible, which will mean rethinking and redesigning it so that it works for people around the world.

We know that this is not ideal, but hope that you’ll bear with us and that you’ll join us online in July. The process of refereeing abstracts is still going on, and we’ll try to keep you in the loop as plans get solidified.

Best regards,

Brian Epstein, Tufts University; President, International Social Ontology Society

Olivier Massin, University of Neuchâtel; co-organizer, Social Ontology 2020

Alessandro Salice, University College Cork; co-organizer, Social Ontology 2020

In July 2020, the University of Neuchâtel will host the biennial social ontology conference. This major conference will bring together international leaders across fields studying the nature of the social world and how to improve our models of it.

Keynotes by:

  • Malinda Carpenter, Professor in Developmental Psychology, St. Andrews (website)
  • Jonathan Schaffer, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers (website)
  • Amie Thomasson, Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth College (website)

  • Achille Varzi, Professor of Philosophy, New York (website)

  • Dan Zahavi, Professor of Philosophy, Copenhagen/Oxford (website)

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Collective Intentionality and Social Cognition
  • Group Action
  • Shared Emotions
  • Psychopathological Disturbances of Social Behaviour
  • Approaches to the Metaphysics of the Social World
  • The Nature of Institutions, Firms, and Organizations
  • The Nature of Law and Legal Applications of Social Ontology
  • The Ontology of Economics
  • Collective and Distributed Responsibility


Norms and commitments in human-robot cooperative interactions


Elisabeth Pacherie (Institut Jean Nicod, PSL, Paris)


  • Ingar Brinck (Lund University). "Social norms in Human-Robot interaction"
  • Raul Hakli (University of Helsinki). "Trusting a robot collaborator"
  • John Michael (CEU, Vienna). "The Sense of Commitment in Human-Robot Interaction".

Learn more

Call For Abstracts

Abstract submission is now closed. Thank you for your participation.

Abstracts of 300-500 words (prepared for blind review) should be submitted to the conference EasyChair website.

For the submission, only an abstract (not a full paper) is required.

Interdisciplinary contributions are strongly encouraged.

Deadline for submissions: March 2nd, 23:59 CEST

Notification of acceptance: May 5th, 2020


Olivier Massin (Neuchâtel, Chair), Alessandro Salice (Cork, Chair)

Organizing Committee (Neuchâtel)

Agnès Baehni, Sylvain Bovard, Mina Brigljevic, Jämaelle Corrado, Alexandre Ducommun, Thaïs Oviedo, Rachel Prêtre, Antoine Taillard, Antoine Vuille, Judith Würgler

The Conference Series

The Collective Intentionality conferences are a biennial series sponsored by the International Social Ontology Society. The previous events in this series have been held at Tufts University (2018), Delft University of Technology in Den Haag, Netherlands (2016), Indiana University Bloomington (2014), and the Universities of Manchester (2012), Basel (2010), Berkeley (2008), Helsinki (2006), Siena (2004), Rotterdam (2002), Leipzig (2000) and Munich (1999).


Registration opens: TBA

CFP: October 17th, 2019

Deadline for submissions: March 2nd, 2020

Notification of acceptance: May 10th, 2020

Conference: July 13-16, 2020

Pictures © MV-Image, Ville de Neuchâtel & Guillaume Perret. Do not distribute.

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

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