Social Ontology 2020

The 12th Biennial Collective Intentionality Conference

July 13–25, 2020, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Online Conference

Conference website is live!

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the website hosting this year’s conference is now online. You can access it at:

The talks are accessible to the general public and comments can be posted by all ISOS members. The programme of keynote talks and symposia is also available on the website.

Kindly note that we are finalizing the programme for the live Q&A sessions. The registration for these sessions will open soon. If you are a speaker at the conference, this is when you will be able to see the timeslot assigned to your talk.

If you submitted a video but do not see it on the website yet, do not worry. We are still processing some of the videos, so yours may not be up yet. (This is especially probable if you submitted after June 28th.)

We are very excited about this new conference format and we are looking forward to e-meeting you very much indeed.

Kind regards,

Alessandro & Olivier

Social Ontology 2020 is almost here!

Dear colleagues,

We have an exciting update for you. The Social Ontology 2020 Conference website that will host this year event will go live on

July 6, 2020

This website will host the videos of the talks submitted by this year's speakers and act as a platform for discussing these talks.

The videos will be freely accessible to the general public. Attendees that wish to access the comment section and participate in the live Q&A sessions are required to be ISOS members and to register for the conference (more details coming soon).

We look forward to e-meeting all of you very much indeed.

Best regards,

Antoine Taillard, on behalf of the SO2020 organizing committee

Social Ontology 2020 to be held online

SO2020 Online FAQ

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


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.

Keynote talks

MONDAY, July 13th, 1500-16.30 (CEST). 

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

“We in me or me in we. Collective intentionality and the plural subject.”

Chair: Alessandro Salice (UC Cork)

    TUESDAY, July 14th, 1500-16.30 (CEST).

    Malinda Carpenter, Professor in Developmental Psychology, St. Andrews (website)

    “A new look at joint attention and common knowledge.”

    Chair: Alessandro Salice (UC Cork)

    WEDNESDAY, July 15th, 1500-16.30 (CEST).

    Tuomas Vesterinen, University of Helsinki, ISOS Essay Prize Winner (website)

    “Identifying the Explanatory Domain of the Looping Effect: Congruent and Incongruent Feedback Mechanisms of Interactive Kinds.”

    Chair: Brian Epstein (Tufts)

    THURSDAY, July 16th, 1500-16.30 (CEST).

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

    “Derivatus Paradoxus.”

    Chair: Olivier Massin (U Neuchâtel)

    FRIDAY, July 17th, 1500-16.30 (CEST).
    Jonathan Schaffer, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers (website)

    “No Money, No Women: Social Constructionism Entails Relationalism”

    Chair: Olivier Massin (U Neuchâtel)


    MONDAY, July 13th, 1000-1200 (CEST). "Joining forces: The nature and norms of collective efforts”. Learn more.

    Convenor. Juan Pablo Bermúdez (U Neuchâtel)

    Speakers & talks

    • Marcell Székely (CEU). "Social Effort Calibration. Why, when and how do we match joint action partners’ effort investments?"
    • Olle Blomberg (U Gothenburg): "Effort and collective quality of will"
    • Wayne Christensen (University of Barcelona). "Sense of Effort, Joint Action, and the Evolution of Flexible Skill"

    FRIDAY, July 17, 1300-1500 (CEST): "Norms and commitments in human-robot cooperative interactions”. Learn more.

    Convenor. Elisabeth Pacherie (Institut Jean Nicod, PSL, Paris).

    Speakers & talks

    • Elisabeth Pacherie (Institut Jean Nicod, PSL, Paris): "Introduction – Motivational and predictive challenges in human-robot cooperative interactions"
    • Ingar Brinck (Lund University): "Social norms in Human-Robot interaction"
    • Raul Hakli (University of Helsinki): "Cooperative interactions with social robots?"
    • John Michael (Central European University, Vienna): "The Sense of Commitment in Human-Robot Interaction”

      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

      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).

      Conference website


      Registration opens: TBA

      CFP: October 17th, 2019

      Deadline for submissions: March 2nd, 2020

      Notification of acceptance: May 10th, 2020

      Deadline for videos submission: June 26th, 2020

      Conference website opens: July 6th, 2020

      Online Conference: July 13-25, 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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