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Vicarious Actions and Social Teleology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2021

Philippe A. Lusson*
Affiliation:
New York University in Paris, Paris, France
*

Abstract

Actions receive teleological descriptions and reason explanations. In some circumstances, these descriptions and explanations might appeal not just to the agent’s own purposes and reasons, but also to the purposes and reasons of others in her social surroundings. Some actions have a social teleology. I illustrate this phenomenon and I propose a concept of vicarious action to account for it. An agent acts vicariously when she acts in response to the demand of another agent who knew that her demand was likely to succeed. I argue that vicariousness grounds the social teleology of the resulting actions.

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Article
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© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Canadian Journal of Philosophy

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