Cooperation: With or without Shared Intentions

Ethics 132 (2):414-444 (2022)
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This article articulates our everyday notion of cooperation. First, I topple an orthodoxy of shared agency theory by arguing that shared intentions to J are neither necessary nor sufficient for J to be cooperative. I refute the necessity claim by providing examples of shared intention-free cooperation (in institutional contexts and beyond). I refute the sufficiency claim by observing that coercion and exploitation need not preclude shared intentions but do preclude cooperation. These arguments, in turn, lead to my positive proposal. People cooperate, I argue, just in case their activities are coordinated in ways that do not undermine any participant’s agency.

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Jules Salomone-Sehr
The Queen's College, Oxford


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