The normative standing of group agents

Episteme 9 (3):283-291 (2012)
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Abstract

Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that groups of people can be agents – beings that believe, desire and act. Their account combines a non-reductive realist view of group attitudes, on which groups literally have attitudes that cannot be analyzed in terms of the attitudes of their members, with methodological individualism, on which good explanations of group-level phenomena should not posit forces above individual attitudes and behaviors. I then discuss the main normative conclusion that LP draw from the claim that group agents exist: that we ought morally to grant legal rights and responsibilities to group agents, but that group rights should be more limited than individual rights. I argue that when it comes to the fitness of group agents to bear legal rights and responsibilities, LP can draw support from nonreductionist views elsewhere, particularly in the philosophy of mind. I raise some objections to LP's views about the value of granting legal rights and responsibilities to group agents.Send article to KindleTo send this article to your Kindle, first ensure [email protected] is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply. Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.THE NORMATIVE STANDING OF GROUP AGENTSVolume 9, Issue 3Rachael BriggsDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.17Your Kindle email address Please provide your Kindle [email protected]@kindle.com Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Dropbox To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox. THE NORMATIVE STANDING OF GROUP AGENTSVolume 9, Issue 3Rachael BriggsDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.17Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Google Drive To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive. THE NORMATIVE STANDING OF GROUP AGENTSVolume 9, Issue 3Rachael BriggsDOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2012.17Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Export citation Request permission.

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R. A. Briggs
Stanford University

Citations of this work

Group agents and moral status: what can we owe to organizations?Adam Lovett & Stefan Riedener - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):221–238.
Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
Artificial agents among us: Should we recognize them as agents proper?Migle Laukyte - 2017 - Ethics and Information Technology 19 (1):1-17.
Do group agents have free will?Christian List - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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