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Social contexts and social pragmatics

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The social state of a system of interacting principals is given by the set of social relationships among them. These relationships not only arise due to social interactions but also influence those interactions. For specificity, we restrict ourselves to (social) commitments as the kind of social relationship we consider and express the meanings of interactions in terms of commitments. Successful interoperation presumes that the interacting parties will maintain alignment in regards to their social state. However, alignment can easily fail due to the nonuniform observability of the relevant social events. We contribute (1) a concept of social context with which to characterize such social interactions; (2) an approach based on dialectical commitments to capture testimonies about events that cannot be observed by all the concerned parties.