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Grant number like: FT-53200-05

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Abraham Sesshu Roth
University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL 60612-4305)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 8/31/2005

Shared Agency, Self-Knowledge, and Testimony

In the spirit of rational choice theory underlying much economic theory, the traditional approach to a philosophical theory of shared agency seeks to understand it in terms of individual agency. Against this prevailing view, I reject the assumption that a participant’s contribution to shared activity is a special case of individual action. I hold that one person can act directly on the intention of another much in the way that one can act on his or her own intentions. Our agency, then, is deeply embedded in a social environment, inextricably intertwined with the intentions and actions of those around us. I focus on the implications of this view for the nature of self-knowledge and the epistemology of testimony.