Plural action

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):25-54 (2008)
Abstract
In this paper, I distinguish three claims, which I label individual intentional autonomy, individual intentional autarky, and intentional individualism. The autonomy claim is that under normal circumstances, each individual's behavior has to be interpreted as his or her own action. The autarky claim is that the intentional interpretation of an individual's behavior has to bottom out in that individual's own volitions, or pro-attitudes. The individualism claim is weaker, arguing that any interpretation of an individual's behavior has to be given in terms of individual intentional states. I argue that individual intentional autonomy implies neither individual intentional autarky, nor intentional individualism, with which it is usually lumped together. I further argue that this insight is the key to an adequate view of an important class of actions, i.e., plural actions. Key Words: joint action • shared intentions • methodological individualism • intentional interpretation • collective agents • influence • autonomy.
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