Rules, Social Ontology and Collective Identity


Abstract
Mainstream game theory explains cooperation as the outcome of the interaction of agents who permanently pursue their individual goals. Amartya Sen argues instead that cooperation can only be understood by positing a type of rule-following behaviour that can be out of phase with the pursuit of individual goals, due to the existence of a collective identity. However, Sen does not clarify the ontological preconditions for the type of social behaviour he describes. I will argue that Sen's account of collective identity can be best interpreted in the light of John Searle's notion of collective intentionality, while Sen's explanation of rule-following behavior and agency is best understood using the critical realist transformational model of social activity
Keywords ontology  social rules  Searle  identity  critical realism  Sen
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2009.00406.x
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Rationality and Freedom.Amartya Sen - 2005 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 67 (1):182-183.

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Citations of this work BETA

An Evolutionary Approach to Emergence and Social Causation.Nuno Martins - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (2):192-218.
Immanent Non-Algorithmic Rules: An Ontological Study of Social Rules.Ismael Al-Amoudi - 2010 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 40 (3):289-313.
An Ontology of Power and Leadership.Nuno Ornelas Martins - 2018 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 48 (1):83-97.
Sen, Sraffa and the Revival of Classical Political Economy.Nuno Ornelas Martins - 2012 - Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (2):143 - 157.

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