From we-mode to role-mode

In Miguel Garcia-Godinez & Rachael Mellin (eds.), Tuomela on Sociality. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 177-200 (2023)
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Raimo Tuomela’s most important contribution to the philosophy of collective intentionality was his development of the notion of the we-mode. In my chapter I extend the notion of we-mode to that of role-mode, the mode in which individual and collective subjects feel, think and act as occupants of roles within groups and institutional structures. I focus on how being in role-mode is manifest in the minds of subjects and on the following points. First, I argue that both we-mode and role-mode are best thought of as further modifications of I-consciousness, respectively we-consciousness. Second, role-mode is further characterized by the fact that subjects will take positions as role occupants that they won’t take as mere individuals, or we-mode group members, or in other roles. Third, such divergences are only possible against a background of agreements between positions taken in different modes. Fourth, such divergences are also grounded in decision making procedures and the accessibility and admissibility of sources of evidence. Fifth, role-mode goes all the way down, that is, it is also manifest in how subjects feel, move and comport themselves when they occupy their roles. To put it into fashionable jargon, it is embodied and enacted.

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Michael Schmitz
University of Vienna


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