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  1. A Defence of Lichtenberg.Giovanni Merlo - 2019 - Episteme:1-16.
    Cartesians and Lichtenbergians have diverging views of the deliverances of introspection. According to the Cartesians, a rational subject, competent with the relevant concepts, can come to know that he or she thinks – hence, that he or she exists – on the sole basis of his or her introspective awareness of his or her conscious thinking. According to the Lichtenbergians, this is not possible. This paper offers a defence of the Lichtenbergian position using Peacocke and Campbell's recent exchange on Descartes'scogitoas (...)
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  • Existence, really? Tacit disagreements about “existence” in disputes about group minds and corporate agents.Johannes Himmelreich - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4939-4953.
    A central dispute in social ontology concerns the existence of group minds and actions. I argue that some authors in this dispute rely on rival views of existence without sufficiently acknowledging this divergence. I proceed in three steps in arguing for this claim. First, I define the phenomenon as an implicit higher-order disagreement by drawing on an analysis of verbal disputes. Second, I distinguish two theories of existence—the theory-commitments view and the truthmaker view—in both their eliminativist and their constructivist variants. (...)
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  • Groups with Minds of Their Own Making.Leo Townsend - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (1):129-151.
    According Philip Pettit, suitably organised groups not only possess ‘minds of their own’ but can also ‘make up their minds’ and 'speak for themselves'--where these two capacities enable them to perform as conversable subjects or 'persons'. In this paper I critically examine Pettit's case for group personhood. My first step is to reconstruct his account, explaining first how he understands the two capacities he considers central to personhood – the capacity to ‘make up one’s mind’, and the capacity to ‘speak (...)
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  • Corporate Agency and Possible Futures.Tim Mulgan - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):901-916.
    We need an account of corporate agency that is temporally robust – one that will help future people to cope with challenges posed by corporate groups in a range of credible futures. In particular, we need to bequeath moral resources that enable future people to avoid futures dominated by corporate groups that have no regard for human beings. This paper asks how future philosophers living in broken or digital futures might re-imagine contemporary debates about corporate agency. It argues that the (...)
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  • Group Minds and Natural Kinds.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    The claim is frequently made that structured collections of individuals who are themselves subjects of mental and cognitive states – such collections as courts, countries, and corporations – can be, and often are, subjects of mental or cognitive states. And, to be clear, advocates for this so-called group-minds hypothesis intend their view to be interpreted literally, not metaphorically. The existing critical literature casts substantial doubt on this view, at least on the assumption that groups are claimed to instantiate the same (...)
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  • Panpsychism, intuitions, and the great chain of being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2991-3017.
    Some philosophical theories of consciousness imply consciousness in things we would never intuitively think are conscious—most notably, panpsychism implies that consciousness is pervasive, even outside complex brains. Is this a reductio ab absurdum for such theories, or does it show that we should reject our original intuitions? To understand the stakes of this question as clearly as possible, we analyse the structured pattern of intuitions that panpsychism conflicts with. We consider a variety of ways that the tension between this intuition (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social ontology is the study of the nature and properties of the social world. It is concerned with analyzing the various entities in the world that arise from social interaction. -/- A prominent topic in social ontology is the analysis of social groups. Do social groups exist at all? If so, what sorts of entities are they, and how are they created? Is a social group distinct from the collection of people who are its members, and if so, how is (...)
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  • Consciousness Incorporated.Philip Pettit - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (1):12-37.
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  • Can a Corporation be Worthy of Moral Consideration?Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):253-265.
    Much has been written about what corporations owe society and whether it is appropriate to hold them responsible. In contrast, little has been written about whether anything is owed to corporations apart from what is owed to their members. And when this question has been addressed, the answer has always been that corporations are not worthy of any distinct moral consideration. This is even claimed by proponents of corporate agency. In this paper, I argue that proponents of corporate agency should (...)
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  • Reasons, Coherence, and Group Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):581-604.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Collective mental time travel: remembering the past and imagining the future together.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4933-4960.
    Bringing research on collective memory together with research on episodic future thought, Szpunar and Szpunar :376–389, 2016) have recently developed the concept of collective future thought. Individual memory and individual future thought are increasingly seen as two forms of individual mental time travel, and it is natural to see collective memory and collective future thought as forms of collective mental time travel. But how seriously should the notion of collective mental time travel be taken? This article argues that, while collective (...)
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  • Individuality, Collectivity and the Intersubjective Constitution of Intentionality.Patrizio Lo Presti - 2020 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 11 (2).
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  • Conceptualizing Automated Decision-Making in Organizational Contexts.Anna Katharina Boos - 2024 - Philosophy and Technology 37 (3):1-30.
    Despite growing interest in automated (or algorithmic) decision-making (ADM), little work has been done to conceptually clarify the term. This article aims to tackle this issue by developing a conceptualization of ADM specifically tailored to organizational contexts. It has two main goals: (1) to meaningfully demarcate ADM from similar, yet distinct algorithm-supported practices; and (2) to draw internal distinctions such that different ADM types can be meaningfully distinguished. The proposed conceptualization builds on three arguments: First, ADM primarily refers to the (...)
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  • Scientific Progress and Collective Attitudes.Keith Raymond Harris - 2024 - Episteme 21 (1):127-146.
    Psychological-epistemic accounts take scientific progress to consist in the development of some psychological-epistemic attitude. Disagreements over what the relevant attitude is – true belief, knowledge, or understanding – divide proponents of the semantic, epistemic, and noetic accounts of scientific progress, respectively. Proponents of all such accounts face a common challenge. On the face of it, only individuals have psychological attitudes. However, as I argue in what follows, increases in individual true belief, knowledge, and understanding are neither necessary nor sufficient for (...)
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  • The Weirdness of the World.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2024 - Princeton University Press.
    How all philosophical explanations of human consciousness and the fundamental structure of the cosmos are bizarre—and why that’s a good thing Do we live inside a simulated reality or a pocket universe embedded in a larger structure about which we know virtually nothing? Is consciousness a purely physical matter, or might it require something extra, something nonphysical? According to the philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, it’s hard to say. In The Weirdness of the World, Schwitzgebel argues that the answers to these fundamental (...)
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  • Zombies Incorporated.Olof Leffler - 2023 - Theoria 89 (5):640-659.
    How should we understand the relation between corporate agency, corporate moral agency and corporate moral patienthood? For some time, corporations have been treated as increasingly ontologically and morally sophisticated in the literature. To explore the limits of this treatment, I start off by redeveloping and defending a reductio that historically has been aimed at accounts of corporate agency which entail that corporations count as moral patients. More specifically, I argue that standard agents are due a certain type of moral concern, (...)
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  • The Contours of Corporate Moral Agency.Alan Strudler - 2023 - Law and Philosophy 42 (6):535-560.
    This article defends skepticism about the moral agency of corporations, arguing that even if we accept the idea that there exist group moral agents, it makes little sense to suppose that the corporation itself can qualify as such an agent. The discussion considers and rejects arguments from Philip Pettit, Peter French, and Michael Bratman. It concludes that we should not criminally prosecute corporations.
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  • Do group agents have free will?Christian List - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    It is common to ascribe agency to some organized collectives, such as corporations, courts, and states, and to treat them as loci of responsibility, over and above their individual members. But since responsibility is often assumed to require free will, should we also think that group agents have free will? Surprisingly, the literature contains very few in-depth discussions of this question. The most extensive defence of corporate free will that I am aware of (Hess [2014], “The Free Will of Corporations (...)
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  • Desire, Disagreement, and Corporate Mental States.Olof Leffler - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue against group agent realism, or the view that groups have irreducible mental states. If group agents have irreducible mental states, as realists assume, then the best group agent realist explanation of corporate agents features only basic mental states with at most one motivational function each. But the best group agent realist explanation of corporate agents does not feature only basic mental states with at most one motivational function each. So corporate agents lack irreducible mental states. How so? I (...)
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  • Corporate Moral Credit.Grant J. Rozeboom - 2024 - Business Ethics Quarterly 34 (2):303-330.
    When do companies deserve moral credit for doing what is right? This question concerns the positive side of corporate moral responsibility, the negative side of which is the more commonly discussed issue of when companies are blameworthy for doing what is wrong. I offer a broadly functionalist account of how companies can act from morally creditworthy motives, which defuses the following Strawsonian challenge to the claim that they can: morally creditworthy motivation involves being guided by attitudes of “goodwill” for others, (...)
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  • Groups that fly blind.Jared Peterson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-24.
    A long-standing debate in group ontology and group epistemology concerns whether some groups possess mental states and/or epistemic states such as knowledge that do not reduce to the mental states and/or epistemic states of the individuals who comprise such groups (and are also states not possessed by any of the members). Call those who think there are such states inflationists. There has recently been a defense in the literature of a specific type of inflationary knowledge—viz., knowledge of facts about group (...)
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  • Are Propositional Attitudes Mental States?Umut Baysan - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (3):417-432.
    I present an argument that propositional attitudes are not mental states. In a nutshell, the argument is that if propositional attitudes are mental states, then only minded beings could have them; but there are reasons to think that some non-minded beings could bear propositional attitudes. To illustrate this, I appeal to cases of genuine group intentionality. I argue that these are cases in which some group entities bear propositional attitudes, but they are not subjects of mental states. Although propositional attitudes (...)
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  • Eliminating Group Agency.Lars J. K. Moen - 2023 - Economics and Philosophy 39 (1):43-66.
    Aggregating individuals’ consistent attitudes might produce inconsistent collective attitudes. Some groups therefore need the capacity to form attitudes that are irreducible to those of their members. Such groups, group-agent realists argue, are agents in control of their own attitude formation. In this paper, however, I show how group-agent realism overlooks the important fact that groups consist of strategically interacting agents. Only by eliminating group agency from our social explanations can we see how individuals vote strategically to gain control of their (...)
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  • Group Responsibility.Christian List - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Are groups ever capable of bearing responsibility, over and above their individual members? This chapter discusses and defends the view that certain organized collectives – namely, those that qualify as group moral agents – can be held responsible for their actions, and that group responsibility is not reducible to individual responsibility. The view has important implications. It supports the recognition of corporate civil and even criminal liability in our legal systems, and it suggests that, by recognizing group agents as loci (...)
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  • Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence.Christian List - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-30.
    The aim of this exploratory paper is to review an under-appreciated parallel between group agency and artificial intelligence. As both phenomena involve non-human goal-directed agents that can make a difference to the social world, they raise some similar moral and regulatory challenges, which require us to rethink some of our anthropocentric moral assumptions. Are humans always responsible for those entities’ actions, or could the entities bear responsibility themselves? Could the entities engage in normative reasoning? Could they even have rights and (...)
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  • Mapping higher-level causal efficacy.Horia Tarnovanu - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8533-8554.
    A central argument for non-reductive accounts of group agency is that complex social entities are capable of exerting causal influence independently of and superseding the causal efficacy of the individuals constituting them. A prominent counter is that non-reductionists run into an insuperable dilemma between identity and redundancy – with identity undermining independent higher-level efficacy and redundancy leading to overdetermination or exclusion. This paper argues that critics of non-reductionism can manage with a simpler and more persuasive reductio strategy called mapping: allow (...)
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  • Group agents and moral status: what can we owe to organizations?Adam Https://Orcidorg Lovett & Stefan Https://Orcidorg Riedener - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):221–238.
    Organizations have neither a right to the vote nor a weighty right to life. We need not enfranchise Goldman Sachs. We should feel few scruples in dissolving Standard Oil. But they are not without rights altogether. We can owe it to them to keep our promises. We can owe them debts of gratitude. Thus, we can owe some things to organizations. But we cannot owe them everything we can owe to people. They seem to have a peculiar, fragmented moral status. (...)
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  • Global Individualism and Group Agency.Aluizio Couto - 2021 - Philosophia 51 (1):1-20.
    I argue that there are liberal reasons to reject what I call “Global Individualism”, which is the conjunction of two views strongly associated with liberalism: moral individualism and social individualism. According to the first view, all moral properties are reducible to individual moral properties. The second holds that the social world is composed only of individual agents. My argument has the following structure: after suggesting that Global Individualism does not misrepresent liberalism, I draw on some recent insights in social ontology (...)
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  • What it Might Be like to Be a Group Agent.Max F. Kramer - 2021 - Neuroethics 14 (3):437-447.
    Many theorists have defended the claim that collective entities can attain genuine agential status. If collectives can be agents, this opens up a further question: can they be conscious? That is, is there something that it is like to be them? Eric Schwitzgebel argues that yes, collective entities, may well be significantly conscious. Others, including Kammerer, Tononi and Koch, and List reject the claim. List does so on the basis of Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory of consciousness. I argue here that (...)
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  • From Collective Memory ... to Collective Metamemory?Santiago Arango-Munoz & Kourken Michaelian - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality, vol 11. pp. 195-217.
    Ouraiminthischapteristodelineatetheformofsharedagencythatwe take to be manifested in collective memory. We argue for two theses. First, we argue that, given a relatively weak conception of episodicity, certain small-scale groups display a form of emergent (i.e., genuinely collective) episodic memory, while large-scale groups, in contrast, do not display emergent episodic memory. Second, we argue that this form of emergent memory presupposes (high-level and possibly low-level) metamemorial capacities, capacities that are, however, not themselves emergent group-level features but rather strictly individual-level features. The form of (...)
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  • Integrated Information Theory, Searle, and the Arbitrariness Question.Francis Fallon - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):629-645.
    Integrated Information Theory posits a new kind of information, which, given certain constraints, constitutes consciousness. Searle objects to IIT because its appeal to information relies on observer-relative features. This misses the point that IIT’s notion of integrated information is intrinsic, the opposite of observer-relative. Moreover, Searle overlooks the possibility that IIT could be embraced as an extension of his theory. While he insists that causal powers of the brain account for consciousness, he maintains that these causal powers aren’t tied to (...)
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  • In Favor of Mentalism in Economics: A Conversation with Christian List.Christian List & Catherine Herfeld - forthcoming - In Catherine Herfeld (ed.), Conversations on Rational Choice. Cambridge University Press.
    This is an edited transcript of a conversation to be included in the collection "Conversations on Rational Choice". The conversation was conducted in Munich on 7 and 9 February 2016.
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  • Consciousness, belief, and the group mind hypothesis.Søren Overgaard & Alessandro Salice - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1-25.
    According to the Group Mind Hypothesis, a group can have beliefs over and above the beliefs of the individual members of the group. Some maintain that there can be group mentality of this kind in the absence of any group-level phenomenal consciousness. We present a challenge to the latter view. First, we argue that a state is not a belief unless the owner of the state is disposed to access the state’s content in a corresponding conscious judgment. Thus, if there (...)
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  • Integrated Information Theory, Searle, and the Arbitrariness Question.Francis Fallon - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
    Integrated Information Theory posits a new kind of information, which, given certain constraints, constitutes consciousness. Searle objects to IIT because its appeal to information relies on observer-relative features. This misses the point that IIT’s notion of integrated information is intrinsic, the opposite of observer-relative. Moreover, Searle overlooks the possibility that IIT could be embraced as an extension of his theory. While he insists that causal powers of the brain account for consciousness, he maintains that these causal powers aren’t tied to (...)
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  • Group blameworthiness and group rights.Stephanie Collins - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The following pair of claims is standardly endorsed by philosophers working on group agency: (1) groups are capable of irreducible moral agency and, therefore, can be blameworthy; (2) groups are not capable of irreducible moral patiency, and, therefore, lack moral rights. This paper argues that the best case for (1) brings (2) into question. Section 2 paints the standard picture, on which groups’ blameworthiness derives from their functionalist or interpretivist moral agency, while their lack of moral rights derives from their (...)
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  • The Loving State.Adam Lovett - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.
    I explore the idea that the state should love its citizens. It should not be indifferent towards them. Nor should it merely respect them. It should love them. We begin by looking at the bases of this idea. First, it can be grounded by a concern with state subordination. The state has enormous power over its citizens. This threatens them with subordination. Love ameliorates this threat. Second, it can be grounded by the state's lack of moral status. We all have (...)
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • The Moral Agency of Group Agents.Christopher Thompson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):517-538.
    Christian List and Philip Pettit have recently developed a model of group agency on which an autonomous group agent can be formed, by deductive inference, from the beliefs and preferences of the individual group members. In this paper I raise doubts as to whether this type of group agent is a moral agent. The sentimentalist approach to moral responsibility sees a constitutive role for moral emotions, such as blame, guilt, and indignation, in our practices of attributing moral responsibility. These moral (...)
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  • Collective Emotion: A Framework for Experimental Research.Victor Chung, Julie Grèzes & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2024 - Emotion Review 16 (1):28-45.
    Research on collective emotion spans social sciences, psychology and philosophy. There are detailed case studies and diverse theories of collective emotion. However, experimental evidence regarding the universal characteristics, antecedents and consequences of collective emotion remains sparse. Moreover, current research mainly relies on emotion self-reports, accounting for the subjective experience of collective emotion and ignoring their cognitive and physiological bases. In response to these challenges, we argue for experimental research on collective emotion. We start with an overview of theoretical frameworks to (...)
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  • On the concept of political manipulation.Gregory Whitfield - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4):783-807.
    Much liberal-democratic thought has concerned itself primarily – even exclusively – with coercive interference in citizens’ lives. But political actors do things – they engage in influential speech, they offer incentives, they mislead other actors, they disrupt the expected functioning of decision-making mechanisms etc. – that fall short of coercion, yet may nonetheless call for normative evaluation and public justification, precisely because they serve to purposively alter citizens’ beliefs, intentions and behaviour. With this article, I explicate a conception of political (...)
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  • The collective epistemic reasons of social-identity groups.Veli Mitova - 2022 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):1-20.
    In this paper, I argue that certain social-identity groups—ones that involve systematic relations of power and oppression—have distinctive epistemic reasons in virtue of constituting this group. This claim, I argue further, would potentially benefit at least three bodies of scholarship—on the epistemology of groups, on collective moral responsibility, and on epistemic injustice.
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  • Collective Obligations and Demandingness Complaints.Brian Berkey - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):113-132.
    It has been suggested that understanding our obligations to address large-scale moral problems such as global poverty and the threat of severe climate change as fundamentally collective can allow us to insist that a great deal must be done about these problems while denying that there are very demanding obligations, applying to either individuals or collectives, to contribute to addressing them. I argue that this strategy for limiting demandingness fails because those who endorse collective obligations to address large-scale moral problems (...)
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  • Collective Agency: Moral and Amoral.Frank Hindriks - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):3-23.
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  • Plato's Republic on Democracy : Freedom, Fear and Tyrants Everywhere.Oda E. Wiese Tvedt - unknown
    This thesis poses the question ‘What is the critique of democracy in Plato’s Republic?’ It is not the first to do so. But contrary to standard readings, this thesis does not assume neither epistemological nor elitist explanations. Rather, it sees the Kallipolis, ‘the beautiful city in words’ as predicated on a particular anthropology. This theory of human nature, which claims that it is human to be greedy for wealth, sex, and power is contributed by Glaucon, Socrates’ main interlocutor in the (...)
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  • Establishments as Material rather than Immaterial Objects.Frank A. Hindriks - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):835-840.
    ABSTARCT When people go shopping, they enter a building. But the shop cannot be identified with the building, because it would remain the same shop if it moved to another building or if it became an e-store. Daniel Korman [2019] uses these two observations to argue that establishments are immaterial objects. However, all that follows is that establishments are not buildings. I argue that establishments are organisations or corporate agents that are constituted by people. This entails that they are material (...)
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  • Redundant Group Agency.Lars J. K. Moen - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (5):364-384.
    According to group-agent realism, treating groups as agents with their own intentional states, irreducible to those of the group members, helps us explain and predict the groups’ behavior. This pap...
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  • Does the Machine Need a Ghost? Corporate Agents as Nonconscious Kantian Moral Agents.Kendy M. Hess - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):67-86.
    Does Kantian moral agency require phenomenal consciousness? More to the point, can firms (and other highly organized collectives) be Kantian moral agents—bound by Kantian obligations—in the absence of consciousness? After sketching the mechanics of my account of corporate agents, I consider three increasingly demanding accounts of Kantian moral agency, concluding that corporate agents can meet each successively higher threshold. They can (1) act on universalizable principles and treat humanity as an end in itself; (2) give such principlesto themselves,treattheir own‘humanity’ as (...)
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  • Establishments as Material rather than Immaterial Objects.Frank A. Hindriks - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):835-840.
    ABSTARCT When people go shopping, they enter a building. But the shop cannot be identified with the building, because it would remain the same shop if it moved to another building or if it became an e-store. Daniel Korman [2019] uses these two observations to argue that establishments are immaterial objects. However, all that follows is that establishments are not buildings. I argue that establishments are organisations or corporate agents that are constituted by people. This entails that they are material (...)
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  • Epistemic autonomy and group knowledge.Chris Dragos - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6259-6279.
    I connect two increasingly popular ideas in social epistemology—group knowledge and epistemic extension—both departures from mainstream epistemological tradition. In doing so, I generate a framework for conceptualizing and organizing contemporary epistemology along several core axes. This, in turn, allows me to delineate a largely unexplored frontier in group epistemology. The bulk of extant work in group epistemology can be dubbed intra-group epistemology: the study of epistemically salient happenings within groups. I delineate and attempt to motivate what I dub inter-group epistemology: (...)
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  • I, Volkswagen.Stephanie Collins - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):283-304.
    Philosophers increasingly argue that collective agents can be blameworthy for wrongdoing. Advocates tend to endorse functionalism, on which collectives are analogous to complicated robots. This is puzzling: we don’t hold robots blameworthy. I argue we don’t hold robots blameworthy because blameworthiness presupposes the capacity for a mental state I call ‘moral self-awareness’. This raises a new problem for collective blameworthiness: collectives seem to lack the capacity for moral self-awareness. I solve the problem by giving an account of how collectives have (...)
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