No. 9 (2015): Joint Commitment: Collective Intentionality, Norms and Justice
Session 1. Collective Beliefs

On Acting Because of a Joint Commitment

Published 2016-04-07


  • joint commitment,
  • game theory,
  • Bacharach

How to Cite

Tossut, S. (2016). On Acting Because of a Joint Commitment. Phenomenology and Mind, (9), 38–45.


I focus on the motivational role that Gilbert attributes to joint commitment. Using Bacharach’s game theoretical analysis of non-summative group agency, I point out that Gilbert’s account of social actions conceptually requires the obliteration of individual preferences and individual rationality. Then, I investigate whether acting because of a joint commitment is rational in some sense, focusing primarily on the phenomenon of asking and giving the permission to defect (fair defection) when a joint commitment is in place. I show that the obliteration of individual preferences prevents the possibility of rational fair defection. Finally, I analyze Gilbert’s recent suggestion concerning the introduction of personal preferences in her account, and I show that such introduction cannot solve the problem with the
(ir)rationality of fair defection, and that personal preferences can hardly be consistently included in Gilbert’s account.


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