Ways of Phi-ing and Social Groups
In his seminal text, Techniques of the Body, Mauss (1934) takes the following observation as a starting point: “Walking or swimming, for example, and all sorts of things of the same type, are specific to determinate societies […] the Polynesians do not swim as we do, […] my generation do not swim as the present generation does”.
The aim of my presentation is to provide a conceptual analysis of the object Mauss is interested in, namely: the way of “phi-ing” which is characteristic of a group of people (were “phi” stands for a given type of action or activity).
My analysis is based on Tuomela’s book The philosophy of Social Practices. First, I will discuss the distinction between social practices and instrumental practices. Second, I will discuss the idea that a practice can be fashionable.
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