[SydPhil] Reminder: John Mathewson @ Mon 17 Jun 2013 13:00 - 14:30 (Current Projects)
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Sun Jun 16 12:59:55 AEST 2013
This is a reminder for:
Title: John Mathewson
Group agents and the use of idealised models in philosophy
Group agents are agents composed of parts that are themselves agents. In
the book Group Agency, Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that such
group agents ought to be included in the ontology of the social sciences.
For example, they claim we can talk about the beliefs, preferences and even
blameworthiness of entities such as corporations (as opposed to just the
members of those corporations), where this talk is at least sometimes
literally true. List and Pettit also consider ways in which groupagents
should be structured in order to meet particular norms of agency, and the
significance of these agents in our social and political environment.
I think there is a certain amount of tension between the methodology
employed in Group Agency and its purported findings. Many of the arguments
presented in the book involve formal treatments of highly idealised and
abstract scenarios, the results of which are intended to secure claims
regarding actual group agents. The use of such abstract scenarios is a
well-established and effective research method in both philosophy and
science, but complexities do arise when we use this research to support
claims about the real world. I will examine the extent to which these
complexities might cause trouble for two of List and Pettit’s claims,
emphasising the importance of how their models generalise across actual and
possible cases. The hope is to use these examples tomotivate some general
heuristics regarding the use of idealised scenarios in philosophy.
When: Mon 17 Jun 2013 13:00 – 14:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: Philosophy Common Room
Calendar: Current Projects
* kristiemiller4 at gmail.com- creator
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