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How Individuals Constitute Group Agents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2019

Keith Harris*
Department of Philosophy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA


Several social metaphysicians have argued that groups are constituted by, but not identical to, their members. While the constitution view is promising, there are significant difficulties with existing versions of that view. Fortunately, lessons may be extracted from more traditional metaphysics and applied to the case of group agents. Drawing on such lessons, I present a novel account of the constitution relation holding between individuals and group agents. According to the resulting structural-constitution view, when individuals constitute a group of a certain kind, they do so in virtue of exhibiting the structure characteristic of groups of that kind.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Canadian Journal of Philosophy

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