Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Frederick Stoutland"

Titel: The Ontology of Social Agency
Autor: Frederick Stoutland
Seite: 533-551

Abstract: The main claim of the paper is that there are irreducibly social agents that intentionally perform social actions. It argues, first, that there are social attitudes ascribable to social agents and not to the individuals involved. Second, that social agents, not only individual agents, are capable of what Weber called ’subjectively understandable action.’ And, third, that although action (if not merely mental) presumes an agent’s moving her body in various ways, actions do not consist of such movements, and hence not only individual persons but social groups are genuine agents. We should be pluralists about individuation, rejecting both individualism and collectivism by granting that social agency is neither more nor less ultimate, well-founded, or basic than non-social agency.

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Titel: Reasons, Causes, and Intentional Explanation
Autor: Frederick Stoutland
Seite: 28-55

Abstract: The reasons-causes debate concerns whether explanations of human behavior in terms of an agent's reasons presuppose causal laws. This paper considers three approaches to this debate: the covering law model which holds that there are causal laws covering both reasons and behavior, the intentionalist approach which denies any role to causal laws, and Donald Davidson's point of view which denies that causal laws connect reasons and behavior, but holds that reasons and behavior must be covered by physical laws if reasons explanations are to be valid. I defend the intentionalist approach against the two causalist approaches and conclude with reflections on the significance of the debate for the social sciences.

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