Societies as Plural Subjects

Margaret Gilbert

in A Theory of Political Obligation

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199274956
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603976 | DOI:
 Societies as Plural Subjects

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Having articulated an account of joint activity in terms of joint commitment, and hence of those social groups that arise through the joint activity of certain persons, this chapter returns to social groups in general, and societies in particular. Defining a plural subject as a set of persons who are jointly committed in some way, it argues for an account of social groups as plural subjects. It argues that plural subjects can be large and possess the features of anonymity, hierarchy, impersonality, and inclusiveness. These features are typically associated with a society as a special type of social group.

Keywords: anonymity; hierarchy; impersonality; inclusiveness; joint commitment; large group; plural subject; social group; society

Chapter.  8029 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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