Analysis 69 (3):587-589 (2009)
This work provides a rigorous analysis of what Tuomela calls ‘the we-perspective’. Tuomela's overarching project is to argue that ‘conceptualizing social life and theorizing about it requires the use of group concepts, indeed the we-perspective and, especially, the we-mode.’ Already some of the complexities of Tuomela's approach will be evident – viz. in the distinction, implied in the above quotation and carried through systematically throughout the work, between the ‘we-perspective’ and the ‘we-mode’. For, indeed, it is possible, on his account, to take up the we-perspective from the I-mode and, indeed, this is probably quite common, but is not adequate to ground the analysis of social and institutional concepts. As Tuomela puts it , ‘The concept of social institution is a we-mode concept, and in actual practice, at least some we-mode thinking and acting is required for institutions to function adequately.’ Since ‘we-mode’ is the more central notion, let us begin with that. It will be instructive to quote Tuomela at length : " Agent A, a member of group g, has ATT, the attitude ATT with content p, in … ".
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