Philosophy colloquium: Robert Williams (Online event)

Title: Team Reasoning and Layers of Agency

By Robert Williams, (Leeds University, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday, November 30th

Time: 13.30-15.30 (GMT+3)

This is an online event. All are welcome. If you would like to listen to the talk please click on the following link when the event is due to begin. 

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 265 888 6802Passcode: 970143

Abstract: Team reasoning (Bacharach, Gold, Sugden) is a theory of how individual agents can rationally cooperate to achieve the optimal outcomes for the group. In Bacharach’s version, it involves two major claims about how individuals choose in moments they are in “team mode”. One is “agency shift” where each individual chooses “for the group as a whole”. The other is “preference shift” where each agent takes on the group’s preferences, rather than their own. This paper will have two goals. The first is to examine again the basic foundations of the team-reasoning framework, and give my own preferred take on what’s going on, normatively speaking, in the initially mysterious agency and preference shifts. The second is look at the consequences for wider theory if team-reasoning, so formulated, is true. I’m interested, in particular, at how team-reasoning can help us explain cooperative action in larger, structured and informationally-asymmetric groups, and in the disanalogies it creates between individual and collective intention/action.




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