Leviathans Welcome!

European Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 204-213, 2011

GROUP AGENCY: THE POSSIBILITY, DESIGN, AND STATUS OF GROUP AGENTS, Christian List, Philip Pettit, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011

10 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012

Date Written: July 3, 2011

Abstract

The book under review offers a brave new theory of group agents: it maintains that some groups of individuals have one capacity which is usually attributed only to individual human beings, namely being an agent. This is a bold claim with potential repercussions in all social sciences (and which may be particularly disturbing for lawyers). To be adequate to that, the authors have developed a fully fledged account of group agents, and discuss what an agent is, why we need the concept of group agent, how to recognise one when we see it and how the group agent is different from participating members. The book builds upon the earlier work of both authors who have been exploring different aspects of collective decision-making separately or in collaboration for more than decade. On the background of these bits now they have developed a whole new theory which is fascinating. Unlike most of the earlier work of List, where his use of formal methods in philosophy makes them fascinating yet extremely difficult to grasp by the uninitiated, in this book the authors have gone a long way to make it sweat and readable: they even say “not-p” instead of “p” for instance and in many cases go straight to the bottom line told in plain words while referring to standalone articles for elaborate formalisations and proofs.

Keywords: group agency, discursive dilemma, collective responsibility

Suggested Citation

Paskalev, Vesselin, Leviathans Welcome! (July 3, 2011). GROUP AGENCY: THE POSSIBILITY, DESIGN, AND STATUS OF GROUP AGENTS, Christian List, Philip Pettit, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1998822

Vesselin Paskalev (Contact Author)

University of Hull ( email )

University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom
01481465747 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.hull.ac.uk/fass/law_school/staff/paskalev_vesco.aspx

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
311
PlumX Metrics