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Embodied conventions

Some comments on their social dimension and intentionality
Federico José Arena
p. 59–67


In these brief comments on Bruno Celano’s “Pre-conventions. A Fragment of the Background”, I propose further thoughts on what, following Celano’s analysis, I call embodied conventions. I begin with a number of remarks on Celano’s philosophical method. Then I claim, first, that the social dimension of conventionality remains obscure in his account of embodied conventions, and, second, that his account of pre-conventions (embodied conventions that are in the Background) is still imprecise due to the ambiguity of the notion of the Background.

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In open access from December 2018.


1 Introduction
2 On method
3 Distinguishing conventions
4 The social dimension of conventions
5 Embodiment, intentionality and the Background
6 Closing remarks

First lines

1 Introduction

I have been kindly invited by the editors of Revus to comment on Bruno Celano’s article “Pre-conventions. A Fragment of the Background”. As always, Celano’s analysis is illuminating and encourages the reader to think further about the issue in hand. In this text, I only intend to indicate some paths that, to my mind, should be explored in order to complete or improve our understanding of the phenomena pointed to by Celano.

My comments are divided into three parts. First, I discuss briefly Celano’s indirect remarks on the philosophical method (or, at least, on the method he uses to examine “pre-conventions”). Second, I introduce what I take to be Celano’s key claims regarding embodied conventions. I then propose a number of observations on Celano’s analysis, focusing only on two aspects. On the one hand, I argue that his explanation of embodied conventions needs to be further developed in order to account for the social dimension of conventionality. On the other hand, I...

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Bibliographical reference

Federico José Arena, « Embodied conventions », Revus, 30 | 2016, 59–67.

Electronic reference

Federico José Arena, « Embodied conventions », Revus [Online], 30 | 2016, Online since 01 December 2018, connection on 18 January 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/revus.3497

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About the author

Federico José Arena

Assistant Researcher, Conicet - Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)

 Federico José Arena
Caseros 301, piso primero
X5000AHG, Córdoba


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