How, if at all, are discoveries about game theory and its limits important for philosophical theories of joint action? In this lecture we investigate how team reasoning entails the existence of aggregate subjects. We also learn how to construct an account of shared intention using team reasoning. The result contrasts with Bratman (2014)’s account of shared intention.
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The lecture is about applications of team reasoning to theories of aggregate subjects and shared intentions.
We will investigate how to construct an account of shared intention using team reasoning following Gold & Sugden (2007) and Pacherie (2013).
The upshot is an account of shared intention incompatible with Bratman’s account (see Bratman on Shared Intentional Action). This incompatibility, and the difficulty of picking a winner, is an obstacle to combining philosophical and formal approaches. We are therefore motivated to consider whether either there is a good objection to either account—or, alternatively, a way of making them consistent with each other.
As background, we will also introduce the notions of plural subject and aggregate subject. These are useful for distinguishing and relating different response to The Problem of Joint Action. Whereas Bratman (2014)’s theory requires neither plural subjects nor aggregate subjects, theories based on team reasoning do require aggregate subjects.
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Researchers have used a variety of labels including ‘joint action’ (Brooks, 1981; Sebanz, Bekkering, & Knoblich, 2006; Knoblich, Butterfill, & Sebanz, 2011; Tollefsen, 2005; Pettit & Schweikard, 2006; Carpenter, 2009; Pacherie, 2010; Brownell, 2011; Sacheli, Arcangeli, & Paulesu, 2018; Meyer, Wel, & Hunnius, 2013), ‘social action’ (Tuomela & Miller, 1985), ‘collective action’ (Searle, 1990; Gilbert, 2010), ‘joint activity’ (Baier, 1997), ‘acting together’ (Tuomela, 2000), ‘shared intentional activity’ (Bratman, 1997), ‘plural action’ (Schmid, 2008), ‘joint agency’ (Pacherie, 2013), ‘small scale shared agency’ (Bratman, 2014), ‘intentional joint action’ (Blomberg, 2016), ‘collective intentional behavior’ (Ludwig, 2016), and ‘collective activity’ (Longworth, 2019).
We leave open whether these are all labels for a single phenomenon or whether different researchers are targeting different things. As we use ‘joint action’, the term applies to everything any of these labels applies to.