Tuomela’s work on group agents and social institutionsis very rich and insightful. Although I agree with most of it, two features puzzle me: Tuomela’s ontological individualism, and Tuomela’s stance about constitutive rules. Insofar as ontological individualism is concerned, Tuomela’s claims about group agents seem to support ontological collectivism rather than the individualism that he defends. It remains unclear whether Tuomela appreciates that the mind-dependence of group agents as such does not rule out their existence (thesis 1). Furthermore, their causal efficacy supports their reality (thesis 2).
Tuomela believes that the notion of a constitutive rule can illuminate the enabling role of institutions. I have argued against this that regulative rules suffice for this purpose (thesis 3). Constitutive rules are important but mainly because they lay bare an ontology that regulative rules leave implicit (thesis 4). Finally, I have argued that what is enabled by collectively accepted rules, whether they be regulative or constitutive, is to be explicated in terms of the function of institutions, which is – as Tuomela argues – to facilitate or enhance coordination and cooperation.
|Title of host publication||Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality|
|Subtitle of host publication||Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with His Responses|
|Editors||Gerhard Preyer, Georg Peter|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Name|| Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality|
- group agent
- constitutive rule
- ontological individualism
- ontological collectivism