Joint actions and group agents

Philip Pettit, David Schweikard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Joint action and group agency have emerged as focuses of attention in recent social theory and philosophy but they have rarely been connected with one another. The argument of this article is that whereas joint action involves people acting together to achieve any sort of result, group agency requires them to act together for the achievement of one result in particular: the construction of a centre of attitude and agency that satisfies the usual constraints of consistency and rationality in adequate measure. The main discovery in the recent theory of group agency is that this result is not easily achieved; no regular voting procedure will ensure, for example, that a group of individually consistent agents will display consistency in group judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-39
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Collective agents
  • Group agents
  • Groups
  • Joint action
  • Joint intention


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