Joint actions and group agents

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (1):18-39 (2006)

Abstract

University of Cologne, Germany Joint action and group agency have emerged as focuses of attention in recent social theory and philosophy but they have rarely been connected with one another. The argument of this article is that whereas joint action involves people acting together to achieve any sort of result, group agency requires them to act together for the achievement of one result in particular: the construction of a centre of attitude and agency that satisfies the usual constraints of consistency and rationality in adequate measure. The main discovery in the recent theory of group agency is that this result is not easily achieved; no regular voting procedure will ensure, for example, that a group of individually consistent agents will display consistency in group judgments. Key Words: groups • group agents • collective agents • joint action • joint intention.

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References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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