Towards a Theory of Social Practices (by Andrea Zhok)

giovedì, 25 Giugno, 2009

Sul tema degli habits e della loro trasmissione intersoggettiva, riceviamo e volentieri pubblichiamo l’articolo di Andrea Zhok Towards a Theory of Social Practices, appena uscito su: Journal of the Philosophy of History 3, Brill (

Il download è libero fino al 14 agosto.

Towards a Theory of Social Practices
di Andrea Zhok, University of Milan (


The notion of social practice and a family of notions akin to it play an essential role in contemporary philosophical reflection, with particular reference to the conceptualisation of historical processes. Stephen Turner’s book A Social Theory of Practices (1994) has provided a major challenge to this family of notions, and our purpose is to outline a grounding account of the notion of social practice in the form of an answer to Turner’s criticisms. We try to answer three questions: first, if it is necessary to grant a tacit dimension to transmittable habits; second, if and how a tacit dimension of “meaning” could be intersubjectively transmitted; third, what is the possible role of rationality in changing social practices. Our discussion moves from Wittgenstein’s argument on rule-following; in its wake we try to examine the nature of habits as a basis for rules and discuss their temporal sedimentation, inertia and modes of intersubjective transmission. In conclusion we support the idea that social practices must rely on a tacit dimension, that their tacit dimension does not represent a hindrance to intersubjective transmission, and that the possible dogmatism of social practices is not due to their “hidden” side, but to their explicit quasi-rational side.

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Towards a Theory of Social Practices di Andrea Zhok

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/187226309X434867
Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (2009) 187–210

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