Prediction, Authority, and Entitlement in Shared Activity

Noûs 48 (4):626-652 (2014)
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Abstract
Shared activity is often simply willed into existence by individuals. This poses a problem. Philosophical reflection suggests that shared activity involves a distinctive, interlocking structure of intentions. But it is not obvious how one can form the intention necessary for shared activity without settling what fellow participants will do and thereby compromising their agency and autonomy. One response to this problem suggests that an individual can have the requisite intention if she makes the appropriate predictions about fellow participants. I argue that implementing this predictive strategy risks derailing practical reasoning and preventing one from forming the intention. My alternative proposal for reconciling shared activity with autonomy appeals to the idea of acting directly on another's intention. In particular, I appeal to the entitlement one sometimes has to another's practical judgment, and the corresponding authority the other sometimes has to settle what one is to do
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