Public Philosophy and Social Ontology

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The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and the University of Groningen invite all PhD students to register for the EPF Summer School, to take place from 26 to 30 August, 2019.


Organizing university

The Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Groningen


26-30 August, 2019


Room Omega, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen (Oude Boteringestraat 52).

Type of activity

5-day summer school

Type of activity

For this activity PhD students and ReMa students can – after successful completion – earn a certificate. However, the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. More information. The study load for this activity is as follows: 5 ECTS.

Primary target group

PhD students, ReMa students and Post-docs

If places available, also open to

Researchers within three years after receiving their PhD degree, and research master students.

Application/registration deadline

Application deadline: 7 April, 2019
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 30 April, 2019

About the topic

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: responsibilities & rights
  • social structures and individual autonomy: concord / conflict

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

Aim / objective

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


Monday, August 26

12:00 – 12:30 Arrival and check-in

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch and welcome

14:00 – 15:30 Lecture 1:

From Social Practices to Social Justice

Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/tea break

16:00 – 17:30 Student introductions

18:30 – … Dinner

Tuesday, August 27

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee & Cake

10:30 – 12:00 Lecture 2:

Social Structures and Structural Explanation

Sally Haslanger (MIT)

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Lecture 3:

Social Ontology, Social Struggle, and Critique

Titus Stahl (University of Groningen)

15:00 – 17:30 Meetings & Preparation presentations

18:30 – … Dinner

Wednesday, August 28

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee & Cake

10:30 – 12:00 Lecture 4:

A Consequentialist Perspective on Justice and Institutions

Andreas Schmidt (University of Groningen)

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Lecture 5:

Agency and Anarchism

Gabriel Wollner (University of Bayreuth)

15:00 – 17:30 Meetings & Preparation presentations

18:30 – … Dinner

Thursday, August 29

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee & Cake

10:30 – 12:00 Lecture 6:

Group Duties

Stephanie Collins (Australian Catholic University)

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Lecture 7:

The Structure of a Just Society (book manuscript)

Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

15:00 – 17:30 Meetings & Preparation presentations

18:30 – … Dinner

Friday, August 30

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee & Cake

10:30 – 12:00 Student presentations

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Student presentations

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee/tea break

15:30 – 17:00 Student presentations

17:00 – 17:45 Closing

18:30 – … Dinner



  • Christina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Sally Haslanger (MIT)
  • Stephanie Collins (Australian Catholic University)
  • Andreas Schmidt (University of Groningen)
  • Titus Stahl (University of Groningen)
  • Justin Bruner (University of Groningen)
  • Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

Required preparations

Participants are expected to:

  • Read all the assigned literature.
  • Prepare questions for each session.
  • Actively participate in discussions.
  • Give a presentation at the end of the summer school.
  • Write a short essay (2000 words) to be submitted before the end of September.


350 Euros for non-OZSW members and 300 Euros for OZSW members
This fee includes lunch (5x), dinner (4x), and coffee and tea throughout the day. (Accommodation is not included.)

Registration/application form

In order to apply, please send an email with the subject line “Registration for Summer School” to Ryan Doody, including 1) your CV, and 2) a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 page), before 7 April 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.


This course is coordinated by Frank Hindriks and Ryan Doody.

Contact info

For further information related to the contents of this course, please contact the coordinator at the following e-mail address: For practical inquiries, please contact