Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents

Paperback | May 1, 2013

byChristian List, Philip Pettit

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Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individual agents that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should go about explaining the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treatthem as responsible and accountable in the manner of individuals. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, in a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. Christian List and Philip Pettit take the line that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper social science and a proper approach to law, morality, and politics have to take account of this fact. Unlike some earlier defencesof group agency, their account is entirely unmysterious in character and, despite not being technically difficult, is grounded in cutting-edge work in social choice theory, economics, and philosophy.

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Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individual agents that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should go about explaining the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treatthem as responsible and accountable in the m...

Christian List is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at the London School of Economics. He works in individual and social choice theory, political philosophy, and the philosophy of social science. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he held research and visiting positions at Oxford, the Australian National University, M...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199679673

ISBN - 13:9780199679676

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Table of Contents

ContentsPrefaceIntroductionI: The Logical Possibility of Group Agents1. The Conditions of Agency2. The aggregation of intentional attitudes3. The structure of group agentsII: The Organizational Design of Group Agents4. The Epistemic Desideratum5. The Incentive-Compatibility Desideratum6. The Control DesideratumIII: The Normative Status of Group Agents7. Holding Group Agents Responsible8. Personifying Group Agents9. Identifying with Group AgentsReferencesEndnotes

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"important and enlightening" --Economics and Philosophy