Skip to main content Accessibility help


  • Katharine Browne (a1)


Team reasoning is thought to be descriptively and normatively superior to the classical individualistic theory of rational choice primarily because it can recommend coordination on Hi in the Hi-Lo game and cooperation in Prisoner's Dilemma-type situations. However, left unanswered is whether it is rational for individuals to become team members, leaving a gap between reasons for individuals and reasons for team members. In what follows, I take up Susan Hurley's attempt to show that it is rational for an individual to become a team member. I argue that her account fails to show that becoming a team member is necessary to gain the advantages of coordination in Hi-Lo games or cooperation in Prisoner's Dilemma-type situations, and that individuals will often fare better reasoning as individual agents than as members of a team. I argue further that there is a more general problem for team reasoning, specifically that the conditions needed to make it rational for a team member to employ team reasoning make becoming a team member unnecessary.



Hide All
Bacharach, M. 1999. Interactive team reasoning: a contribution to the theory of co-operation. Research in Economics 53: 117147.
Bacharach, M. 2006. Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory, ed. Gold, N. and Sugden, R.. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Barrett, H. C., Cosmides, L. and Tooby, J.. 2010. Coevolution of cooperation, causal cognition and mindreading. Communicative and Integrative Biology 3: 522524.
Colman, A. M., Pulford, B. D. and Rose, J.. 2008. Collective rationality in interactive decisions: evidence for team reasoning. Acta Psychologica 128: 387397.
Frank, R. H. 1988. Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Gauthier, D. 1986. Morals by Agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gauthier, D. 2013. Twenty-five on. Ethics 123: 601624.
Gintis, H. 2000. Beyond Homo economicus: evidence from experimental economics. Ecological Economics 35: 311322.
Gold, N., ed. 2005. Teamwork: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gold, N. 2012. Team reasoning, framing and cooperation. In Evolution and Rationality: Decision, Cooperation and Strategic Behaviour, ed. Okasha, S. and Binmore, K., 185212. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gold, N. and Sugden, R.. 2007. Theories of team agency. In Rationality and Commitment, ed. Peter, F. and Schmid, H. B., 280312. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hakli, R., Miller, K. and Tuomela, R.. 2010. Two kinds of we-reasoning. Economics and Philosophy 26: 291320.
Hollis, M. and Sugden, R.. 1993. Rationality in action. Mind 102: 135.
Hurley, S. 1989. Natural Reasons: Personality and Polity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hurley, S. 2005. Rational agency, cooperation, and mind-reading. In Teamwork: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives, ed. Gold, N., 200215. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Regan, D. 1980. Utilitarianism and Co-operation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sally, D. 2000. A general theory of sympathy, mind-reading, and social interaction, with an application to the Prisoners' Dilemma. Social Science Information 39: 567634.
Spiekermann, K. 2007. Translucency, assortation, and information pooling: how groups solve social dilemmas. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6: 285306.
Sugden, R. 2003. The logic of team reasoning. Philosophical Explorations 6: 165181.
Tuomela, R. 2013. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



  • Katharine Browne (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed