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The Philosophy of SocialityThe Shared Point of View$
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Raimo Tuomela

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313390

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313390.001.0001

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Acting as a Group Member

Acting as a Group Member

(p.13) 1 Acting as a Group Member
The Philosophy of Sociality

Raimo Tuomela (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The central notions of acting and functioning as a group member are studied in this chapter. One can function and act as a group member either in the we-mode or in the I-mode. In the latter case, one adopts the group's constitutive goals, values, norms, and standards—briefly its “ethos”—in a private sense, whereas in the former case these are collectively accepted and the group members are collectively committed to them. Accordingly, we-mode reasons for actions and mental states are group-based and collectively constructed, while I-mode reasons are private. We-mode acting as group member is called the “standard” sense and the latter the “weak” sense of acting as a group member. The notion of collective commitment—viewed as a conceptual entailment of we-mode collective acceptance—is clarified and shown to be “group-socially” normative and its functions in central group contexts are discussed. Furthermore, the problems of satisfying and maintaining the group's ethos are considered at length.

A distinction between we-mode groups and I-mode groups is made. We-mode groups are social constructions based on collective acceptance, whereas I-mode groups are based on their membersʼ private commitments to some shared goals, beliefs, norms etc., and are not collectively constructed as groups. We-mode groups can be instrumentalistically viewed as agents, although this is not correct from an ontological point of view.

Keywords:   acting as a group member, collective commitment, ethos, I-mode group, I-mode reason, we-mode group, we-mode reason

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