John Horden PhD.

March 17th - August 31st 2022

Affiliation: University of Barcelona

Research for a study about:

Reductionist Social Metaphysics

I’m originally from the UK, but I’ve recently been based in Barcelona, where I did my PhD a few years ago. I tend to work on issues where metaphysics overlaps philosophy of language. My current research is focused on social ontology, where I’m concerned to defend a reductive materialist view of social groups, geopolitical entities, and so on. The main idea is that these are just regular material objects, and pluralities thereof, which contingently occupy social roles. Defending this pared-down metaphysical view involves various linguistic issues such as rigid and non-rigid designation, polysemy, context dependence, pragmatics, vagueness, and plural logic.


People and Places

Date: April 7, 2022 | 15:00-17:00

Venue: Online, im Rahmen der APSE-CEU-IVC-Reihe


Several authors have argued that socially significant places such as countries, cities and establishments are immaterial objects, despite their being physically located. In contrast, we aim to defend a reductive materialist view of such entities, which identifies them with their physical territories or premises. Accordingly, these are all material objects; typically, aggregates of land and infrastructure. Admittedly, our terms for these entities may also sometimes be used to denote their associated groups of people. But as long as countries, cities and establishments are understood as places, we submit, they are all material objects: the physical territories or premises of their associated groups.