What I Am Reading: Pettit – Groups with Minds of Their Own

Socializing Metaphysics
Socializing Metaphysics

Pettit, Philip. 2003: “Groups with Minds of Their Own”. In: Schmitt, Frederick F. (ed.). Socializing Metaphysics. Rowman & Littlefield. Lanham. 167-193.

For my research on group agency I have read many texts by Philip Pettit, this book chapter, however, escaped my attention so far, so it was time to catch up. The basic idea is familiar to everyone who has read others texts on group agency by Pettit, especially the book Group Agency which Pettit co-authored with Christian List. In “Groups with Minds of Their Own” Pettit puts the basic idea the following way:

“Rational unity is a constrain that binds the attitudes of the collectivity at any time and across different times, and the satisfaction of that constrain means that those attitudes cannot be smoothly continuous with the corresponding attitudes of members.” (p. 184)

Pettit claims that groups face a pressure to meet certain constrains, but that to meet these constrains, it is often necessary that the attitudes of the group cannot be continuous, or at least not smoothly continuous, with that of the members. The decisions a group makes can in appropriate situations bind it to basic norms of rationality like coherence over time, which pushes the group to accept attitudes, notably representational and motivational attitudes, which are not shared by the majority of the member and in some cases by no members at all. Continue reading “What I Am Reading: Pettit – Groups with Minds of Their Own”

Quote of the Week: Stirner on Egoism

Max Stirner
Max Stirner

“Egoistisch ist es, keiner Sache einen eigenen oder »absoluten« Wert beizulegen, sondern ihren Wert in Mir zu suchen.”

Max Stirner. Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. Verlag Karl Alber. Freiburg/München 2009 [1844]. page 176.

“To be egoistic is not to attribute to a thing its own or »absolute« value, but rather to look for the value in Myself.” (My translation)

The definition of being egoistic offered by the great egoist Max Stirner shows the ambiguity of his position. The ambiguity can be seen when one asks, what it means to look for the value in Myself. There are at least two possible interpretations:

  1. The value the things seems to have is only a projection by Myself.
  2. The value of the thing derives from Myself.

Continue reading “Quote of the Week: Stirner on Egoism”

Where to Begin with a Blog?

Where to begin? G. W. F. Hegel, 19th century German Idealist philosopher, put a lot of emphasis on finding the right beginning for his books. He seems to assume that starting at the wrong point would botch the project. Partially this might have to do with Hegel’s method of not applying a method to an object of research (Sache), but rather to follow its internal conceptual development. This is the point where a number of difficult questions arise. What conceptual development is Hegel writing about? Does Hegel have a method or does he not? Nonetheless one thing should be clear: This is not an answer to the question of how to begin a blog.

Portrait of G. W. F. Hegel
G. W. F. Hegel

Continue reading “Where to Begin with a Blog?”