Three conceptions of group-based reasons

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Woodard, Christopher (2017)

Group-based reasons are reasons to play one’s part in some pattern of action that the members of some group could perform, because of the good features of the pattern. This paper discusses three broad conceptions of such reasons. According to the agency-first conception, there are no group-based reasons in cases where the relevant group is not or would not be itself an agent. According to the behaviour-first conception, what matters is that the other members of the group would play their parts in the relevant pattern, not whether they would have the cooperative intentional states constitutive of group agency in doing so. This paper argues against these conceptions and in favour of the powers-first conception, according to which what matters is that the members of the group have practically relevant powers.
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