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Proxy Agency in Collective Action

Noûs 48 (1):75-105 (2014)

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  1. Representation and Epistemic Violence.Leo Townsend & Dina Lupin - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (4):577-594.
    Sometimes an individual gets taken as speaking for a wider group without laying claim to any such authority – they are thrust unwillingly, and sometimes even unknowingly, into the role of that grou...
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  • What Is Justified Group Belief.Jennifer Lackey - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 125 (3):341-396.
    This essay raises new objections to the two dominant approaches to understanding the justification of group beliefs—_inflationary_ views, where groups are treated as entities that can float freely from the epistemic status of their members’ beliefs, and _deflationary_ views, where justified group belief is understood as nothing more than the aggregation of the justified beliefs of the group's members. If this essay is right, we need to look in an altogether different place for an adequate account of justified group belief. (...)
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  • Reductive Views of Shared Intention.Facundo M. Alonso - 2017 - In Kirk Ludwig & Marija Jankovic (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality. Routledge.
    This is a survey article on reductive views of shared intention.
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  • The Epistemology of Collective Testimony.Leo Townsend - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology.
    In this paper, I explore what gives collective testimony its epistemic credentials, through a critical discussion of three competing accounts of the epistemology of collective testimony. According to the first view, collective testimony inherits its epistemic credentials from the beliefs the testimony expresses— where this can be seen either as the beliefs of all or some of the group’s members, or as the beliefs of group itself. The second view denies any necessary connection to belief, claiming instead that the epistemic (...)
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  • I, Volkswagen.Stephanie Collins - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    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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  • Corporate Agency -- The Lesson of the Discursive Dilemma.Philip Pettit - 2018 - In Marija Jankovic & Kirk Ludwig (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality. Routledge. pp. 249-59.
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  • Group Assertion.Jennifer Lackey - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (1):21-42.
    In this paper, I provide the framework for an account of group assertion. On my view, there are two kinds of group assertion, coordinated and authority-based, with authority-based group assertion being the core notion. I argue against a deflationary view, according to which a group’s asserting is understood in terms of individual assertions, by showing that a group can assert a proposition even when no individual does. Instead, I argue on behalf of an inflationary view, according to which it is (...)
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  • Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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  • Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we can avoid this debate. (...)
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  • Agency and Embodiment: Groups, Human–Machine Interactions, and Virtual Realities.Johannes Himmelreich - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):197-213.
    This paper develops a taxonomy of kinds of actions that can be seen in group agency, human–machine interactions, and virtual realities. These kinds of actions are special in that they are not embodied in the ordinary sense. I begin by analysing the notion of embodiment into three separate assumptions that together comprise what I call the Embodiment View. Although this view may find support in paradigmatic cases of agency, I suggest that each of its assumptions can be relaxed. With each (...)
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  • Collective Agency and the Concept of ‘Public’ in Public Involvement: A Practice-Oriented Analysis.Tobias Hainz, Sabine Bossert & Daniel Strech - 2016 - BMC Medical Ethics 17 (1):1-14.
    BackgroundPublic involvement activities are promoted as measures for ensuring good governance in challenging fields, such as biomedical research and innovation. Proponents of public involvement activities include individual researchers as well as non-governmental and governmental organizations. However, the concept of ‘public’ in public involvement deserves more attention by researchers because it is not purely theoretical: it has important practical functions in the guidance, evaluation and translation of public involvement activities.DiscussionThis article focuses on collective agency as one property a public as a (...)
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  • What Are Conditional Intentions?Kirk Ludwig - 2015 - Methode: Analytic Perspectives 4 (6):30-60.
    The main thesis of this paper is that, whereas an intention simpliciter is a commitment to a plan of action, a conditional intention is a commitment to a contingency plan, a commitment about what to do upon (learning of) a certain contingency relevant to one’s interests obtaining. In unconditional intending, our commitment to acting is not contingent on finding out that some condition obtains. In conditional intending, we intend to undertake an action on some condition, impinging on our interests, which (...)
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  • Hybrid Collective Intentionality.Thomas Brouwer, Roberta Ferrario & Daniele Porello - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3367-3403.
    The theory of collective agency and intentionality is a flourishing field of research, and our understanding of these phenomena has arguably increased greatly in recent years. Extant theories, however, are still ill-equipped to explain certain aspects of collective intentionality. In this article we draw attention to two such underappreciated aspects: the failure of the intentional states of collectives to supervene on the intentional states of their members, and the role of non-human factors in collective agency and intentionality. We propose a (...)
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  • The Social Construction of Legal Norms.Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. De Gruyter. pp. 179-208.
    Legal norms are an invention. This paper advances a proposal about what kind of invention they are. The proposal is that legal norms derive from rules which specify role functions in a legal system. Legal rules attach to agents in virtue of their status within the system in which the rules operate. The point of legal rules or a legal system is to solve to large scale coordination problems, specifically the problem of organizing social and economic life among a group (...)
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  • Strengthening Moral Distinction.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (3):327-349.
    The authors in this symposium on Sparing Civilians gave me much to think about; their criticisms have helped me to strengthen the argument for moral distinction, and enhance the moral protection of civilians in war. In this response I address their objections thematically, focusing in turn on each chapter of the book.
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  • Shared Agency in Modest Sociality.Kirk Ludwig - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):7-15.
    This is contribution to a symposium on Michael Bratman's book Shared Agency : A Planning Theory of Acting Together.
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: 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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  • Communication and Shared Information.Marija Jankovic - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):489-508.
    Strawson style counterexamples to Grice’s account of communication show that a communicative intention has to be overt. Saying what overtness consists in has proven to be difficult for Gricean accounts. In this paper, I show that a common explanation of overtness, one that construes it in terms of a network of shared beliefs or knowledge, is mistaken. I offer an alternative, collectivist, model of communication. This model takes the utterer’s communicative intention to be a we-intention, a kind of intention with (...)
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  • What Are Group Speech Acts?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - Language & Communication 70:46-58.
    The paper provides a taxonomy of group speech acts whose main division is that between collective speech acts (singing Happy Birthday, agreeing to meet) and group proxy speech acts in which a group, such as a corporation, employs a proxy, such as a spokesperson, to convey its official position. The paper provides an analysis of group proxy speech acts using tools developed more generally for analyzing institutional agency, particularly the concepts of shared intention, proxy agent, status role, status function, convention (...)
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  • Proxy Assertion.Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In proxy assertion an individual or group asserts something through a spokesperson. The chapter explains proxy assertion as resting on the assignment of a status role to a person (that of spokesperson) whose utterances acts in virtue of that role have the status function of signaling that the principal is committed in a way analogous to an individual asserting that in his own voice. The chapter briefly explains how status functions and status roles are grounded and then treats, in turn, (...)
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  • Epistemic Injustice and Indigenous Peoples in the Inter-American Human Rights System.Dina Lupin Townsend & Leo Townsend - 2020 - Social Epistemology 35 (2):147-159.
    In this paper we examine the epistemic treatment of Indigenous peoples by the Inter-American Court and Commission on Human Rights, two institutions that have sought to affirm the rights of Indigeno...
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