Sharing the Background

610a28d49ac14df09d3f7e90d167bd1c?s=47 Titus Stahl
October 17, 2009

Sharing the Background

Inaugural Meeting of the European Network of Social Ontology, University of Constance, Germany, October 2009

610a28d49ac14df09d3f7e90d167bd1c?s=128

Titus Stahl

October 17, 2009
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  1. 1.

    Sharing the background Sharing the background Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at,

    Frankfurt a. M., Germany Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Inaugural ENSO meeting October 16-17, 2009 Konstanz Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  2. 2.

    Sharing the background Searle’s argument for the background I Rejection

    of the intellectualist model of rule-following. Phenomenological argument: Most of our rule-following actions are not guided by representations of rules. General rule-following argument: Intentional content does not determine its extension by itself. (Wittgenstein’s regress) Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  3. 3.

    Sharing the background Searle’s argument for the background II Solution:

    Background as a non-intellectualist alternative. Background is not a behaviourist solution: Evolution in response to institutions makes it rule-guided. Two-stage causal account: evolutionary account of dispositions, dispositional account of actions. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  4. 4.

    Sharing the background Problems of a causal background explanation I

    The Argument from Normativity: 1 Rule-following is a normative phenomenon. 2 Regularities of behaviour do not provide normative criteria. 3 Dispositions as part of causal stories are counterfactual truths about regularities of behaviour. 4 Therefore: A dispositional model does not provide an interesting explanation for the ability to follow rules. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  5. 5.

    Sharing the background Problems of a causal background explanation II

    An explanation of our ability to follow rules must not only include a (trivial) causal story, but also an account of how we come to be justified in our actions. Causal histories of actions are not good criteria for judgements about a person’s ability to follow rules. Searle does not actually provide us with a story about how a causal history explains the normative aspects of rule-following. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  6. 6.

    Sharing the background Problems of a causal background explanation III

    “there is a socially created normative component in the institutional structure [...] the actual rules that we specify in describing the institution will determine those aspects under which the system is normative.” Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  7. 7.

    Sharing the background Problems of a causal background explanation IV

    The evolutionary story requires an account of the institutional environment (only rule-following behaviour can provide a suitable environment, but then the ability of others to follow rules is already presupposed). Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  8. 8.

    Sharing the background Causal vs. constitutive background explanations I Ambiguity

    of the question: “How is a person able to follow a rule?” Causal explanation: What are the causal conditions for a person to produce some token of behaviour which counts as rule-following? Constitutive explanation: What must be true such that some behaviour of a person can count as rule-following? Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  9. 9.

    Sharing the background Causal vs. constitutive background explanations II Is

    this still the question of the background? Yes, because we must ask not only how an individual can act in a way such that her behaviour might be rule-following but also what conditions must obtain for her behaviour to actually be rule-following. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  10. 10.

    Sharing the background The Wittgenstein / Heidegger insight I Wittgenstein:

    We often act without justification, but this does not mean that we act without right. Causal account does not solve normative problem. Importance of the embedding of an action into a context of public practice. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  11. 11.

    Sharing the background The Wittgenstein / Heidegger insight II Heidegger:

    Background as being-in-the-world. Question of significance of our agency. Concept of care. A social pragmatist Heidegger∗: Being-in-the-world constitutively depending on interlocking attitudes of care. ∗ Not to be confused with the actual Heidegger Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  12. 12.

    Sharing the background The duality of practice The duality of

    practice: First aspect: dispositional guidance (in the normal case). Second aspect: Embedding in normative discourse. How do these both aspects go together? Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  13. 13.

    Sharing the background A moderate conformist model of rule-following I

    Second-order disposition: Orientation towards affirmative attitudes of others. But: Not any affirmative attitudes, but only correct ones. No regress because of defeasible default justification of normative attitudes. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
  14. 14.

    Sharing the background A moderate conformist model of rule-following II

    Attitudes count as justified only as long as there are no discursive challenges. Consequence: Background of rule-following is a network of mutual attitudes, combined with a readiness to recognize discursive challenges. In other word: Attribution of default authority or recognition. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Sharing the background Consequences We have to understand the significance-generating

    second-order dispositions as normative expectations Hegelian model of Sittlichkeit. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt