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On the Many as One

Posted: 21 Jun 2005  

Philip N. Pettit

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)


In a recent paper on "The Many as One", Lewis A. Kornhauser and Lawrence G. Sager look at an important issue in political theory? How far should groups in public life try to speak with one voice, and act with one mind? How far should public groups - in particular, politically authoritative groups like the judiciary and the legislature - try to display what Ronald Dworkin calls integrity? While we agree with many of the points they make about this issue, we do not think that they do justice to the challenge they identify. Our comments fall into three sections. We address, first, the nature of the integrity challenge; second, the range of cases in which the challenge arises; and third, the question of whether public groups should try to satisfy it. While starting from our differences with Kornhauser and Sager, the main aim of the paper is to advance the discussion of these topics, generating a more general perspective than they provide.

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., On the Many as One. Philosopy and Public Affairs, September 2005. Available at SSRN:

Philip N. Pettit (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-4759 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)


Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

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