Chapter

The Control Desideratum

Christian List and Philip Pettit

in Group Agency

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199591565
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725494 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591565.003.0007
The Control Desideratum

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The final desideratum considered in the second part of the book is to protect members of a group agent against domination by the group itself. Protecting the members' independence is important for at least two reasons, applicable in different contexts. First, independence is necessary to respect the members' autonomy. Second, independence is necessary to respect the special expertise that members may have. Members would enjoy full control if they were each fully decisive in a suitable sphere of autonomy or expertise. But such pivotal decisiveness is very difficult to ensure, as some impossibility results of social choice theory demonstrate. The chapter identifies ways in which decisiveness may nevertheless be advanced and in which it may be given a less demanding and more readily satisfiable characterization. This discussion, in turn, relates to broader issues in democratic and republican thought.

Keywords: control; decisiveness; freedom; rights; pivotal; democracy; republicanism; liberal paradox

Chapter.  10710 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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