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  1. Group Agency and Supervenience.Philip Pettit - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):85-105.
    Can groups be rational agents over and above their individual members? We argue that group agents are distinguished by their capacity to mimic the way in which individual agents act and that this capacity must “supervene” on the group members’ contributions. But what is the nature of this supervenience relation? Focusing on group judgments, we argue that, for a group to be rational, its judgment on a particular proposition cannot generally be a function of the members’ individual judgments on that (...)
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  • Complicity and the Responsibility Dilemma.Morten Højer Jensen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):109-127.
    Jeff McMahan famously defends a moral inequality of combatants, where liability to be attacked and potentially killed in war, should be grounded in the individual combatant’s moral responsibility for posing an unjust threat. In a response, Seth Lazar shows that McMahan’s criterion for liability leads to an unacceptable dilemma between “contingent pacifism” and “total war”, i.e. between war being practically infeasible, or implausibly many civilians being legitimate targets. The problem is that McMahan grounds liability mainly in the individual’s causal responsibility (...)
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  • Group virtue epistemology.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Synthese 197 (12):5233-5251.
    According to Sosa, knowledge is apt belief, where a belief is apt when accurate because adroit. Sosa :465–475, 2010; Judgment and agency, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015) adds to his triple-A analysis of knowledge, a triple-S analysis of competence, where a complete competence combines its seat, shape and situation. Much of Sosa’s influential work assumes that epistemic agents are individuals who acquire knowledge when they hit the truth through exercising their own individual skills in appropriate shapes and situations. This paper (...)
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  • Understanding Collective Agency in Bioethics.Katharina Beier, Isabella Jordan, Claudia Wiesemann & Silke Schicktanz - 2016 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (3):411-422.
    Bioethicists tend to focus on the individual as the relevant moral subject. Yet, in highly complex and socially differentiated healthcare systems a number of social groups, each committed to a common cause, are involved in medical decisions and sometimes even try to influence bioethical discourses according to their own agenda. We argue that the significance of these collective actors is unjustifiably neglected in bioethics. The growing influence of collective actors in the fields of biopolitics and bioethics leads us to pursue (...)
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  • Playing One’s Part.Thomas H. Smith - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):213-44.
    The consensus in the philosophical literature on joint action is that, sometimes at least, when agents intentionally jointly φ, this is explicable by their intending that they φ, for a period of time prior to their φ-ing. If this be granted, it poses a dilemma. For agents who so intend either severally or jointly intend that they φ. The first option is ruled out by two stipulations that we may consistently make: (i) that at least one of the agents non-akratically (...)
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  • What 'We'?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):225-250.
    The objective of this paper is to explain why certain authors - both popular and academic - are making a mistake when they attribute obligations to uncoordinated groups of persons, and to argue that it is particularly unhelpful to make this mistake given the prevalence of individuals faced with the difficult question of what morality requires of them in a situation in which there's a good they can bring about together with others, but not alone. I'll defend two alternatives to (...)
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  • How to Share a Mind: Reconsidering the Group Mind Thesis.Thomas Szanto - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):99-120.
    Standard accounts in social ontology and the group cognition debate have typically focused on how collective modes, types, and contents of intentions or representational states must be construed so as to constitute the jointness of the respective agents, cognizers, and their engagements. However, if we take intentions, beliefs, or mental representations all to instantiate some mental properties, then the more basic issue regarding such collective engagements is what it is for groups of individual minds to share a mind. Somewhat surprisingly, (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • Mitigating Loss for Persons Displaced by Climate Change Through the Framework of the Warsaw Mechanism.Megs S. Gendreau - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (2):168-183.
    Despite the substantial research into the peculiar political and legal status of climate migrants, there is comparatively little exploration of the particular forms of loss such migrants might face or how efforts might mitigate such loss. This paper aims to begin filling that void by characterizing such loss, using the framework of the UNFCC’s Warsaw Mechanism, as agential harm. Using existing models for thinking about the preservation of values and links with the past, I aim to use this idea of (...)
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  • Explanation, Emergence and Causality: Comments on Crane.Michele Di Francesco - 2010 - In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
    Tim Crane's ‘Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap’ claims that non‐reductive physicalism must either close the explanatory gap, addressing the challenge famously posed by Levine's argument, or become identical to emergentism. Since no way to close the gap is available, the result is that there can be no interesting philosophical position intermediate between physicalism and emergentism. This chapter argues that if we look at the relation between physicalism and emergentism from the vantage point of reduction, Crane's (...)
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  • Collectives’ and Individuals’ Obligations: A Parity Argument.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):38-58.
    Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into what (...)
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  • Common Knowledge and Reductionism About Shared Agency.Olle Blomberg - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):315-326.
    Most reductionist accounts of intentional joint action include a condition that it must be common knowledge between participants that they have certain intentions and beliefs that cause and coordinate the joint action. However, this condition has typically simply been taken for granted rather than argued for. The condition is not necessary for ensuring that participants are jointly responsible for the action in which each participates, nor for ensuring that each treats the others as partners rather than as social tools. It (...)
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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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  • What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?Christian List - 2016 - Noûs:295-319.
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  • Modest Sociality and the Distinctiveness of Intention.Michael E. Bratman - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (1):149-165.
    Cases of modest sociality are cases of small scale shared intentional agency in the absence of asymmetric authority relations. I seek a conceptual framework that adequately supports our theorizing about such modest sociality. I want to understand what in the world constitutes such modest sociality. I seek an understanding of the kinds of normativity that are central to modest sociality. And throughout we need to keep track of the relations—conceptual, metaphysical, normative—between individual agency and modest sociality. In pursuit of these (...)
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  • Sisäisyys Ja Suunnistautuminen. Inwardness and Orientation. A Festchrift to Jussi Kotkavirta.Arto Laitinen, Jussi Saarinen, Heikki Ikäheimo, Pessi Lyyra & Petteri Niemi (eds.) - 2014 - SoPhi.
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  • Freedom, Recognition and Non-Domination: A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice.Fabian Schuppert (ed.) - 2014 - Springer.
    Introduction : A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice.- Chapter One: The Nature of Free Rational Agency -- Chapter Two: Analysing Freedom & Autonomy Recognition, Responsibility and Threats to Agency -- Chapter Three: Needs, Interests and Rights -- Chapter Four: Capabilities, Freedom and Sufficiency -- Chapter Five: Collective Agency, Democracy and Political Institutions -- Chapter Six: Global Justice and Non-Domination -- Conclusion: Freedom, Recognition & Non-Domination.
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  • Two Conceptions of Collectivity.Mariam Thalos - 2008 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):83-104.
    This paper distinguishes two conceptions of collectivity, each of which tracks the targets of classification according to their aetiology. Collectivities falling under the first conception are founded on (more-or-less) explicit negotiations amongst the members who are known to one another personally. Collectivities falling under the second (philosophically neglected) conception are founded – at least initially – purely upon a shared conception of “we”, very often in the absence of prior acquaintance and personal interaction. Th e paper argues that neglect of (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility Gaps.Stephanie Collins - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):943-954.
    Which kinds of responsibility can we attribute to which kinds of collective, and why? In contrast, which kinds of collective responsibility can we not attribute—which kinds are ‘gappy’? This study provides a framework for answering these questions. It begins by distinguishing between three kinds of collective and three kinds of responsibility. It then explains how gaps—i.e. cases where we cannot attribute the responsibility we might want to—appear to arise within each type of collective responsibility. It argues some of these gaps (...)
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  • Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes.Christian List - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1601-1622.
    This paper offers a comparison of three different kinds of collective attitudes: aggregate, common, and corporate attitudes. They differ not only in their relationship to individual attitudes—e.g., whether they are “reducible” to individual attitudes—but also in the roles they play in relation to the collectives to which they are ascribed. The failure to distinguish them can lead to confusion, in informal talk as well as in the social sciences. So, the paper’s message is an appeal for disambiguation.
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  • In Defense of the Practice Theory.Frank Lovett - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (3):320-338.
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  • Legal Hypocrisy.Ekow N. Yankah - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (1):2-20.
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  • Necessity in Self-Defense and War.Seth Lazar - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (1):3-44.
    It is generally agreed that using lethal or otherwise serious force in self-defense is justified only when three conditions are satisfied: first, there are some grounds for the defender to give priority to his own interests over those of the attacker (whether because the attacker has lost the protection of his right to life, for example, or because of the defender’s prerogative to prefer himself to others); second, the harm used is proportionate to the threat thereby averted; third, the harm (...)
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  • Analytical Sociology: A Bungean Appreciation.Poe Yu-ze Wan - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (10):1545-1565.
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  • Why Change the Subject? On Collective Epistemic Agency.András Szigeti - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):843-864.
    This paper argues that group attitudes can be assessed in terms of standards of rationality and that group-level rationality need not be due to individual-level rationality. But it also argues that groups cannot be collective epistemic agents and are not collectively responsible for collective irrationality. I show that we do not need the concept of collective epistemic agency to explain how group-level irrationality can arise. Group-level irrationality arises because even rational individuals can fail to reason about how their attitudes will (...)
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  • Difference-Making and Individuals' Climate-Related Obligations.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Clare Hayward & Dominic Roser (eds.), Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World. pp. 64-82.
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive a car, (...)
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  • Deliberation and Group Disagreement.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & J. Adam Carter - 2020 - In Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & J. Adam Carter (eds.), The Epistemology of Group Disagreement. London: Routledge. pp. 9-45.
    Suppose an inquiring group wants to let a certain view stand as the group's view. But there’s a problem: the individuals in that group do not initially all agree with one another about what the correct view is. What should the group do, given that it wants to settle on a single answer, in the face of this kind of intragroup disagreement? Should the group members deliberate and exchange evidence and then take a vote? Or, given the well-known ways that (...)
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  • The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):453-467.
    Does ?ought? imply ?can? for collectives' obligations? In this paper I want to establish two things. The first, what a collective obligation means for members of the collective. The second, how collective ability can be ascertained. I argue that there are four general kinds of obligation, which devolve from collectives to members in different ways, and I give an account of the distribution of obligation from collectives to members for each of these kinds. One implication of understanding collective obligation and (...)
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  • Early Heidegger on Social Reality.Jo-Jo Koo - 2016 - In Alessandro Salice & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), The Phenomenological Approach to Social Reality. Springer Verlag. pp. 91-119.
    This book chapter shows how the early Heidegger’s philosophy around the period of Being and Time can address some central questions of contemporary social ontology. After sketching “non-summative constructionism”, which is arguably the generic framework that underlies all forms of contemporary analytic social ontology, I lay out early Heidegger’s conception of human social reality in terms of an extended argument. The Heidegger that shows up in light of this treatment is an acute phenomenologist of human social existence who emphasizes our (...)
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  • Shared Intention and the Doxastic Single End Condition.Olle Blomberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):351-372.
    What is required for several agents to intentionally φ together? I argue that each of them must believe or assume that their φ-ing is a single end that each intends to contribute to. Various analogies between intentional singular action and intentional joint action show that this doxastic single end condition captures a feature at the very heart of the phenomenon of intentional joint action. For instance, just as several simple actions are only unified into a complex intentional singular activity if (...)
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  • Shared Intentions, Loose Groups and Pooled Knowledge.Olivier Roy & Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2019 - Synthese (5):4523-4541.
    We study shared intentions in what we call “loose groups”. These are groups that lack a codified organizational structure, and where the communication channels between group members are either unreliable or not completely open. We start by formulating two desiderata for shared intentions in such groups. We then argue that no existing account meets these two desiderata, because they assume either too strong or too weak an epistemic condition, that is, a condition on what the group members know and believe (...)
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  • Group Motivation.Jessica Brown - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Review Essay: Chant, Sara Rachel, Frank Hindriks and Gerhard Preyer, Editors. From Individual to Collective Intentionality: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. 240. [REVIEW]Caroline T. Arruda - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (3):318–331.
    I summarize and evaluate the aims of the collection From Individual to Collective Intentionality: New Essays edited by Sara Rachel Chant, Frank Hindriks and Gerhard Preyer in the context of the on-going debate about collective intentionality and group agency. I then consider the individual essays contained therein, both from the perspective of how they advance the collection’s goals and the coherence of their individual arguments.
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  • A Conceptual and Empirical Framework for the Social Distribution of Cognition: The Case of Memory.Amanda Barnier, John Sutton, Celia Harris & Robert A. Wilson - 2008 - Cognitive Systems Research 9 (1):33-51.
    In this paper, we aim to show that the framework of embedded, distributed, or extended cognition offers new perspectives on social cognition by applying it to one specific domain: the psychology of memory. In making our case, first we specify some key social dimensions of cognitive distribution and some basic distinctions between memory cases, and then describe stronger and weaker versions of distributed remembering in the general distributed cognition framework. Next, we examine studies of social influences on memory in cognitive (...)
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  • Socially Extended Intentions-in-Action.Olle Blomberg - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):335-353.
    According to a widely accepted constraint on the content of intentions, here called the exclusivity constraint, one cannot intend to perform another agent’s action, even if one might be able to intend that she performs it. For example, while one can intend that one’s guest leaves before midnight, one cannot intend to perform her act of leaving. However, Deborah Tollefsen’s (2005) account of joint activity requires participants to have intentions-in-action (in John Searle’s (1983) sense) that violate this constraint. I argue (...)
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  • Responsibility for States' Actions: Normative Issues at the Intersection of Collective Agency and State Responsibility.Holly Lawford-Smith & Stephanie Collins - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12456.
    Is the state a collective agent? Are citizens responsible for what their states do? If not citizens, then who, if anyone, is responsible for what the state does? Many different sub-disciplines of philosophy are relevant for answering these questions. We need to know what “the state” is, who or what it's composed of, and what relation the parts stand in to the whole. Once we know what it is, we need to know whether that thing is an agent, in particular (...)
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  • Helping Others in Interaction.Alessandro Salice & Glenda Satne - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (4):608-627.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Consciousness Incorporated.Philip Pettit - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (1):12-37.
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  • Plural Action.Hans Bernhard Schmid - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):25-54.
    In this paper, I distinguish three claims, which I label individual intentional autonomy, individual intentional autarky, and intentional individualism. The autonomy claim is that under normal circumstances, each individual's behavior has to be interpreted as his or her own action. The autarky claim is that the intentional interpretation of an individual's behavior has to bottom out in that individual's own volitions, or pro-attitudes. The individualism claim is weaker, arguing that any interpretation of an individual's behavior has to be given in (...)
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  • How to Tell If a Group is an Agent.Philip Pettit - 2014 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 97-121.
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  • The Transfer of Duties: From Individuals to States and Back Again.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Michael Brady & Miranda Fricker (eds.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. Oxford University Press. pp. 150-172.
    Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from (...)
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  • Collective Intentionality and the (Re)Production of Social Norms: The Scope for a Critical Social Science.Juljan Krause - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (3):323-355.
    This article aims to contribute to a critical ontology of social objects. Recent works on collective intentionality and norm-following neglect the question how free agents can be brought to collectively intend to x , although x is not in their own interest. By arguing for a natural disposition to empathic understanding and drawing on recent research in the neurosciences, this article outlines an ontological framework that extends collective intentionality to questions of oppression and status asymmetries. In a contribution to this (...)
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  • Being One of Us. Group Identification, Joint Actions, and Collective Intentionality.Alessandro Salice & Kengo Miyazono - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (1):42-63.
    ABSTRACTWithin social psychology, group identification refers to a mental process that leads an individual to conceive of herself as a group member. This phenomenon has recently attracted a great d...
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  • Notas Sobre a Atualidade Do Republicanismo de Maquiavel Entre Duas Matrizes Teóricas da Democracia.Bruno Santos Alexandre - 2015 - Cadernos Espinosanos 32:199.
    Trata-se, neste trabalho, de refletir acerca da recuperação do republicanismo de Nicolau Maquiavel para o debate democrático contemporâneo. Com esse intento, entre as muitas atualizações possíveis do pensamento do secretário florentino para os dias atuais, destaco duas matrizes conceituais, justamente aquelas mais concernidas com as noções de liberdade e ação política popular. Seguindo as sugestões de Helton Adverse, procuro então aprofundar e esclarecer a sua proposta de uma matriz “institucional” e uma matriz “conflitiva” quando da interpretação e recuperação das ideias (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Group Moral Responsibility.Bhaskarjit Neog - 2020 - Journal of Human Values 26 (3):238-247.
    The concept of group moral responsibility is apparently problematic, in that it is unobvious in what sense a group, which is evidently not a conscious rational subject like an individual person, can be held morally accountable. It is unclear how a group can be said to have the ability to form beliefs and intentions needed for genuine group actions of moral assessment. Broadly speaking, there are two separate platforms from which one can investigate this problem: individualism and collectivism. Subscribing to (...)
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  • The Pervasive Structure of Society.Tim Syme - 2017 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (8):888-924.
    What does it mean to say that the demands of justice are institutional rather than individual? Justice is often thought to be directly concerned only with governmental institutions rather than individuals’ everyday, legally permissible actions. This approach has been criticized for ignoring the relevance to justice of informal social norms. This paper defends the idea that justice is distinctively institutional but rejects the primacy of governmental institutions. I argue that the ‘pervasive structure of society’ is the site of justice and (...)
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  • Punishing Groups: When External Justice Takes Priority Over Internal Justice.Johannes Himmelreich & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):134-150.
    Punishing groups raises a difficult question, namely, how their punishment can be justified at all. Some have argued that punishing groups is morally problematic because of the effects that the punishment entails for their members. In this paper we argue against this view. We distinguish the question of internal justice—how punishment-effects are distributed—from the question of external justice—whether the punishment is justified. We argue that issues of internal justice do not in general undermine the permissibility of punishment. We also defend (...)
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  • Joint Moral Duties.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):58-74.
    There are countless circumstances under which random individuals COULD act together to prevent something morally bad from happening or to remedy a morally bad situation. But when OUGHT individuals to act together in order to bring about a morally important outcome? Building on Philip Pettit’s and David Schweikard’s account of joint action, I will put forward the notion of joint duties: duties to perform an action together that individuals in so-called random or unstructured groups can jointly hold. I will show (...)
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  • Collective Moral Obligations: ‘We-Reasoning’ and the Perspective of the Deliberating Agent.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):151-171.
    Together we can achieve things that we could never do on our own. In fact, there are sheer endless opportunities for producing morally desirable outcomes together with others. Unsurprisingly, scholars have been finding the idea of collective moral obligations intriguing. Yet, there is little agreement among scholars on the nature of such obligations and on the extent to which their existence might force us to adjust existing theories of moral obligation. What interests me in this paper is the perspective of (...)
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  • Social Ontology and Social Cognition.Lo Presti Patrizio - 2013 - Abstracta.
    The aim of this paper is to show that there is a reciprocal dependency relationship between social cognition and social ontology. It is argued that, on the one hand, the existence conditions of socially meaningful objects and of social groups are about subjects’ social cognitive processes and interactive patterns and, on the other hand, social cognitive processes and interactive patterns are modulated by socially meaningful objects and social groups. I proceed from a historically informed distinction between social ontologies – between (...)
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