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From Simple to Composite Agency : On Kirk Ludwig’s From Individual to Plural Agency

Blomberg, Olle LU (2019) In Journal of Social Ontology (JSO) 5(1). p.101-124
Abstract
According to Kirk Ludwig, only primitive actions are actions in a primary and non-derivative sense of the term ‘action’. Ludwig takes this to imply that the notion of collective action is a façon de parler – useful perhaps, but secondary and derivative. I argue that, on the contrary, collective actions are actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. First, this is because some primitive actions are collective actions. Secondly, individual and collective composites of primitive actions are also actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. Hence, individ- ual action and collective action are ontologically on a par. Ludwig also exaggerates the contrast between individual and collective action by introducing a “sole agency... (More)
According to Kirk Ludwig, only primitive actions are actions in a primary and non-derivative sense of the term ‘action’. Ludwig takes this to imply that the notion of collective action is a façon de parler – useful perhaps, but secondary and derivative. I argue that, on the contrary, collective actions are actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. First, this is because some primitive actions are collective actions. Secondly, individual and collective composites of primitive actions are also actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. Hence, individ- ual action and collective action are ontologically on a par. Ludwig also exaggerates the contrast between individual and collective action by introducing a “sole agency requirement” in his account of the semantics of singular action sentences. However, sole agency is merely typically pragmatically implicated by singular action sentences, not entailed by them. If I say, “I turned on the light”, after we each flipped one of two switches that together turned on the light, then I might be misleading the audience, but what I say is true. Finally, I argue that, contra Ludwig, individuals often have “I-intentions” to bring about an event that can be satisfied even if there are co-agents who bring about the event in the same way. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Primitive action, Composite action, Collective action, Action sentences, I-intention, Kirk Ludwig, Ontology of action
in
Journal of Social Ontology (JSO)
volume
5
issue
1
pages
24 pages
publisher
De Gruyter
external identifiers
  • scopus:85076299171
ISSN
2196-9663
DOI
10.1515/jso-2019-0023
project
The Nature of Intentional Joint Action: Coordination, Responsibility and Participant ́s Knowledge
Metaphysics and Collectivity
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4abfbf66-060e-4359-a4b9-d2e8b5c463a5
date added to LUP
2019-11-23 15:02:40
date last changed
2020-12-29 03:35:52
@article{4abfbf66-060e-4359-a4b9-d2e8b5c463a5,
  abstract     = {According to Kirk Ludwig, only primitive actions are actions in a primary and non-derivative sense of the term ‘action’. Ludwig takes this to imply that the notion of collective action is a façon de parler – useful perhaps, but secondary and derivative. I argue that, on the contrary, collective actions are actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. First, this is because some primitive actions are collective actions. Secondly, individual and collective composites of primitive actions are also actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. Hence, individ- ual action and collective action are ontologically on a par. Ludwig also exaggerates the contrast between individual and collective action by introducing a “sole agency requirement” in his account of the semantics of singular action sentences. However, sole agency is merely typically pragmatically implicated by singular action sentences, not entailed by them. If I say, “I turned on the light”, after we each flipped one of two switches that together turned on the light, then I might be misleading the audience, but what I say is true. Finally, I argue that, contra Ludwig, individuals often have “I-intentions” to bring about an event that can be satisfied even if there are co-agents who bring about the event in the same way.},
  author       = {Blomberg, Olle},
  issn         = {2196-9663},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {101--124},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  series       = {Journal of Social Ontology (JSO)},
  title        = {From Simple to Composite Agency : On Kirk Ludwig’s From Individual to Plural Agency},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jso-2019-0023},
  doi          = {10.1515/jso-2019-0023},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2019},
}