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Can groups be intentional agents over and above their individual members? A recent book, jointly authored with Philip Pettit, addresses this question.

While we suggest that parsimony in social-scientific explanations often requires the ascription of intentional states to groups (and not merely to individuals), we also argue that the phenomenon of group agency has 'individualistic' foundations, in the sense that a group's intentional states supervene on certain configurations at the individual level.

We further ask what the recognition of group agency implies for various normative questions, for example about responsibility, group personhood, and identification.

Highlights

Three kinds of collective attitudes, Erkenntnis 79(9, Suppl.): 1601-1622, 2014

Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation (with K. Spiekermann), American Political Science Review 107(4): 629-643 [a general methodology paper]

Episteme Symposium on Group Agency: Replies to Gaus, Cariani, Sylvan, and Briggs (with P. Pettit), Episteme 9(3): 293-309, 2012

Group Agency: The Possibility, Design and Status of Corporate Agents (with Philip Pettit), Oxford University Press, 2011, 2013_(paperback)

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Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents

Group Agency and Supervenience (with Philip Pettit), Southern Journal of Philosophy XLIV (Spindel Supplement): 85-105, 2006; reprinted in J. Hohwy and J. Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced, Oxford (Oxford University Press), 2008

Group knowledge and group rationality: a judgment aggregation perspective, Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 2(1): 25-38, 2005

On the Many as One (with Philip Pettit), Philosophy and Public Affairs 33(4): 377-390, 2005

Other papers

Collective wisdom: a judgment aggregation perspective, in Helene Landemore and Jon Elster (eds.), Collective Wisdom: Principles and Mechanisms, 2012

Distributed Cognition: A Perspective from Social Choice Theory, in M. Albert, D. Schmidtchen and S. Voigt (eds.), Scientific Competition: Theory and Policy, Conferences on New Political Economy vol. 24, Tuebingen (Mohr Siebeck), 2008

 

Last modified November 2014

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