From Individual to Plural Agency: I: Collective Action

ISBN : 9780198755623

Kirk Ludwig
320 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2016
Send mail

Kirk Ludwig develops a novel reductive account of plural discourse about collective action and shared intention. Part I develops the event analysis of action sentences, provides an account of the content of individual intentions, and on that basis an analysis of individual intentional action. Part II shows how to extend the account to collective action, intentional and unintentional, and shared intention, expressed in sentences with plural subjects. On the account developed, collective action is a matter of there being multiple agents of an event and it requires no group agents per se. Shared intention is a matter of agents in a group each intending that they bring about some end in accordance with a shared plan. Thus their participatory intentions (their we-intentions) differ from individual intentions not in their mode but in their content. Joint intentional action then is a matter of a group of individuals successfully executing a shared intention. The account does not reduce shared intention to aggregates of individual intentions. However, it argues that the content of we-intentions can be analyzed wholly in terms of concepts already at play in our understanding of individual intentional action. The account thus vindicates methodological individualism for plural agency. The account is contrasted with other major positions on shared intention and joint action, and defended against objections. This forms the foundation for a reductive account of the agency of mobs and institutions, expressed in grammatically singular action sentences about groups and their intentions, in a second volume.


1 The Problem of Collective Agency

Part I: Singular Action Sentences
2 What is an Event?
3 The Logical Form of Singular Action Sentences
4 Action, Motivation, Explanation, and Intention
5 Conditional Intentions
6 What is it to be the agent of an event or state?
7 The Content of I-intentions
8 The Adverb 'Intentionally'
Part I: Summary and Conclusion
Part II - Plural Action Sentences
9 Logical Form of Plural Action Sentences
10 Extensions and Explanations
11 Consequences, Collective Actions, Illustrative Cases
12 What are Shared or Group Intentions?
13 The Distinctive Content of We-Intentions
14 Some Initial Objections and Replies
15 Collective Intentional Behavior
16 Relation to Other Accounts
17 Does the Account Require More of Collective Action than is Reasonable?

Part II: Summary
18 Conclusion


About the author: 

Kirk Ludwig is a Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. He taught at the University of Florida from 1990 to 2010 and was the Colonel Alan R. and Margaret G. Crow CLAS Term Professor from 2008 to 2010, when he joined Indiana University, Bloomington. He works primarily in the Philosophy of Mind and Action, Philosophy of Language, and Epistemology. He is the editor of Donald Davidson (CUP, 2003), co-author with Ernie Lepore of Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language, and Reality (OUP, 2005) and Donald Davidson's Truth-theoretic Semantics (OUP, 2007), and co-editor with Ernie Lepore of Companion to Donald Davidson (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.