Basil Vassilicos
Mary Immaculate College
In this paper, the goal is to investigate the nature of freedom enjoyed by participants in collective agency. Specifically, we aim to address the fol- lowing questions: in what respects are participants in collective agency able to exercise freedom in some weaker or stronger sense? In what ways is such col- lective or common freedom distinct from the freedom ascribed to individuals? Might there be different sorts of freedoms involved in and tolerated by collec- tive agency, each of which has its own role in determining the nature and effi- cacy of the bond uniting its participants? Clarification of just what such free- dom may involve and how it subsists within collective agency is not only im- portant for being able to demonstrate the instrumental value of social ontology to contemporary political debates. It may likewise contribute an important di- mension to the descriptive psychology of collective agency and shared inten- tionality, which is an approach deserving of more attention. Here, such clari- fication is undertaken via a comparison to the notions of freedom at stake in the respective accounts of sociality and collective agency provided by Raimo Tuomela and Jean-Paul Sartre.
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