Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)

Authors
Samuel Asarnow
Macalester College
Abstract
The leading reductive approaches to shared agency model that phenomenon in terms of complexes of individual intentions, understood as plan-laden commitments. Yet not all agents have such intentions, and non-planning agents such as small children and some non-human animals are clearly capable of sophisticated social interactions. But just how robust are their social capacities? Are non-planning agents capable of shared agency? Existing theories of shared agency have little to say about these important questions. I address this lacuna by developing a reductive account of the social capacities of non-planning agents, which I argue supports the conclusion that they can enjoy shared agency. The resulting discussion offers a fine-grained account of the psychological capacities that can underlie shared agency, and produces a recipe for generating novel hypotheses concerning why some agents (including, arguably, the great apes) do not engage in shared agency.
Keywords shared agency  shared intention  volitions  theory of mind  intention  action  action theory  collective agency  collective action
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