Collective acts

Synthese 187 (1):223-241 (2012)
Groups of people perform acts. For example, a committee passes a resolution, a team wins a game, and an orchestra performs a symphony. These collective acts may be evaluated for rationality. Take a committee’s passing a resolution. This act may be evaluated not only for fairness but also for rationality. Did it take account of all available information? Is the resolution consistent with the committee’s past resolutions? Standards of collective rationality apply to collective acts, that is, acts that groups of people perform. What makes a collective act evaluable for rationality? What methods of evaluation apply to collective acts? This paper addresses these two questions. Collective rationality is rationality’s extension from individuals to groups. The paper’s first few sections review key points about rationality. They identify the features of an individual’s act that make it evaluable for rationality and distinguish rationality’s methods of evaluating acts directly and indirectly controlled. This preliminary work yields general principles of rationality for all agents, both individuals and groups. Applying the general principles to groups answers the paper’s two main questions about collective rationality.
Keywords Control  Coordination  Decision theory  Game theory  Plans  Rationality
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0027-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,813
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
Rationality and Freedom.Amartya Sen - 2005 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 67 (1):182-183.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Collectives' Duties and Collectivisation Duties.Stephanie Collins - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):231-248.
Rationality in Collective Action.Margaret P. Gilbert - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (1):3-17.
Group Doxastic Rationality Need Not Supervene on Individual Rationality.Don Ross - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):106-117.
Collective Rationality and Collective Reasoning.A. Morton - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):118-120.
Collective Rationality and Collective Reasoning.Christopher McMahon - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 116 (2):153-157.
Onwards and Upwards with the Extended Mind: From Individual to Collective Epistemic Action.Georg Theiner - 2013 - In Linnda Caporael, James Griesemer & William Wimsatt (eds.), Developing Scaffolds. MIT Press. pp. 191-208.
The Impossibility of Rational Politics?Peter Stone - 2003 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):239-263.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
42 ( #128,026 of 2,202,700 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,722 of 2,202,700 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature