Shared Agency

Shared Agency : A Planning Theory of Acting Together

3.55 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.55 (11 ratings by Goodreads)

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Human beings act together in characteristic ways, and these forms of shared activity matter to us a great deal. Think of friendship and love, singing duets, dancing together, and the joys of conversation. And think about the usefulness of conversation and how we frequently manage to work together to achieve complex goals, from building buildings to putting on plays to establishing important results in the sciences.

With Shared Agency, Michael E. Bratman seeks to answer questions about the conceptual, metaphysical and normative foundations of our sociality and to establish a framework for understanding basic forms of sociality. Bratman proposes that a rich account of individual planning agency facilitates the step to these forms of sociality.

There is an independent reason - grounded in the diachronic organization of our temporally extended agency - to see planning structures as basic to our individual agency. Once these planning structures are on board, we can expect them to play central roles in our sociality. This planning theory of individual agency highlights distinctive roles and norms of intentions, understood as plan states. In Shared Agency Bratman argues that appeals to these planning structures enable us to
provide adequate resources for an account of sufficient conditions for these basic forms of sociality. Shared agency emerges, both functionally and rationally, from structures of interconnected planning agency.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 163 x 244 x 20mm | 471g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 019989793X
  • 9780199897933

Table of contents

Chapter One: Sociality and Planning Agency ; 1. Modest sociality and the continuity thesis ; 2. Shared intention, individual intention ; 3. I intend that we J: a first pass ; 4. Individual planning agency: roles and norms ; 5. Individual planning agency: further ideas ; 6. Creature construction ; 7. Social functioning and social rationality ; 8. Constructivism about shared intention and modest sociality ; 9. Continuity, sufficiency, and Ockham's Razor ; 10. Deception, coercion, shared intentional, shared cooperative ; Chapter Two: Building Blocks, Part One ; 1. I intend that we J, and circularity ; 2. Interlocking and reflexive intentions ; 3. Intended mesh ; 4. Intending, expecting, and a disposition to help ; 5. Out in the open ; Chapter Three: Building Blocks, Part Two ; 1. I intend that we J, and the own-action condition ; 2. The settle condition, and persistence interdependence ; 3. Persistence interdependence and over-determination ; 4. Three forms of persistence interdependence ; 5. Persistence interdependence, etiology and temporal asymmetry ; 6. Further building blocks ; 7. The connection condition and mutual responsiveness ; 8. Taking stock ; Chapter Four: A Construction of Modest Sociality ; 1. The basic thesis ; 2. The emergence of modest sociality ; 3. Modest sociality and strategic interaction ; 4. Quasi-Lockean social ties ; 5. Social networks ; 6. Treating as a means? ; 7. Deception and coercion re-visited ; 8. The compressed basic thesis ; 9. Too demanding? ; Chapter Five: Modest Sociality and Mutual Obligation ; 1. Shared intention, social explanation ; 2. Shared intention, persistence interdependence, and mutual obligation ; 3. Gilbert on joint commitment ; 4. Normativity, sociality, and Ockham's Razor ; Chapter Six: Group Agents Without Group Subjects ; 1. Group agents and the basic thesis ; 2. Group subjects? ; Chapter Seven: Shared Deliberation, Common Ground ; 1. Shared deliberation and shared intention ; 2. Shared commitments to weights ; 3. Shared policies about weights ; 4. Where the group stands ; 5. Interdependence in policies about weights ; 6. Partiality and depth of shared policies about weights ; 7. Shared policy-structured acceptance ; 8. Shared policies of social rationality ; Conclusion: Interconnected Planning Agents ; Index
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Review quote

Bratman takes great pains to attend to and to thoroughly explicate the finer details of his proposal while simultaneously exposing the less nuanced and more extravagant commitments of alternate views. His book deserves to be widely read by philosophers of agency and action theorists, as well as anyone with an interest in and the sophistication to deeply examine how it is that we act together. * Brandon D.C. Fenton, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review * For philosophers working on shared agency, this book is a required reading. It is an exceptionally clear presentation of what is deservedly one of the most influential contemporary accounts of shared agency (the influence extends outside philosophy to developmental psychology and artificial intelligence) ... The book is beautifully written and, for someone interested in shared agency, a joy to read. * Analysis *
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About Michael E. Bratman

Michael E. Bratman has been at Stanford University since 1974. He is currently U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Science and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford. His major book publications are Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (1987), Faces of Intention (1999), and Structures of Agency (2007). He has been awarded an ACLS Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and fellowships from the
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford University Humanities Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Rating details

11 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 18% (2)
4 36% (4)
3 27% (3)
2 18% (2)
1 0% (0)
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