How Individuals Constitute Group Agents

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):350-364 (2020)

Authors
Keith Harris
University of Iowa
Abstract
Several social metaphysicians have argued that groups are constituted by, but not identical to, their members. While the constitution view is promising, there are significant difficulties with existing versions of that view. Fortunately, lessons may be extracted from more traditional metaphysics and applied to the case of group agents. Drawing on such lessons, I present a novel account of the constitution relation holding between individuals and group agents. According to the resulting structural-constitution view, when individuals constitute a group of a certain kind, they do so in virtue of exhibiting the structure characteristic of groups of that kind.
Keywords constitution  grounding problem  group agents  hylomorphism  social ontology  social metaphysics
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DOI 10.1017/can.2019.39
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References found in this work BETA

Things and Their Parts.Kit Fine - 1999 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):61-74.
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Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):402-424.

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