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Action, Knowledge, and Will$
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John Hyman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735779.001.0001

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Action and Integration

Action and Integration

(p.25) 2 Action and Integration
Action, Knowledge, and Will

John Hyman

Oxford University Press

The principal ideas defended in this chapter are that agency in general is the power to cause change, and that the mark of individual human agency is not will or intention, but functional integration. There is a growing literature on the relationship between individual agency and group agency, in which the idea of individual agency is taken for granted, and group agency is explained in terms of it—proceeding from the simple case to the complex case, from the individual to the collective, the association or the group. But we need to turn this order of explanation on its head, because individual agency is always really collective agency, since a human being, like every other multicellular organism with specialized tissues, is in reality a highly integrated colony of functionally differentiated but genetically similar cells.

Keywords:   agency, power, causation, event, change, integration

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