The epistemic core of weak joint action

Philosophical Psychology (1):1-24 (2013)
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Over the last three decades, joint action has received various definitions, which for all their differences share many features. However, they cannot fit some perplexing cases of weak joint action, such as demonstrations, where agents rely on distinct epistemic sources, and as a result, have no first-hand knowledge about each other. I argue that one major reason why the definition of such collective actions is akin to the classical ones is that it crucially relies on the concept of common knowledge. To this end, I first argue for the necessity of common knowledge for joint action in general due to the increased reliability of success it entails. I then defend the relevance of common knowledge against several criticisms, point at an adequate weakening, and discuss alternative approaches. Although structurally weaker, the common knowledge has a richer content in weak joint actions. As a result, even if the links between individuals are seriously stretched, much is still shared among them. Weak joint actions still require considerable cognitive abilities indeed



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Cedric Paternotte
Université Paris-Sorbonne

Citations of this work

Joint know-how.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3329–3352.
Common Knowledge and Reductionism about Shared Agency.Olle Blomberg - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):315-326.
What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.

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