Team agency and conditional games

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Hofmeyr, Andre
Ross, Don
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Bloomsbury Academic
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We consider motivations for acknowledging that people participate in multiple levels of economic agency. One of these levels is characterized in terms of subjective utility to the individual; another, frequently observed, level is characterized in terms of utility to social groups with which people (temporarily) identify. Following Bacharach (2006), we describe such groups as ‘teams’. We review Bacharach’s theory of such identification in his account of ‘team reasoning’. While this conceptualization is useful, it applies only to processes supported by deliberation. As this is only one of a range of causal mechanisms underlying behaviour by humans and other strategic agents, a more general account is desirable. We then argue that Stirling’s (2012) account of ‘conditional games’ achieves the desired generalization.
Economic agency , Subjective utility , Groups , Game theory
Hofmeyr, A. and Ross, D. (2019) 'Team Agency and Conditional Games', in Nagatsu, M. and Ruzzene, A. (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy and Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, London: Bloomsbury. isbn: 9781474248778
© Bloomsbury Publishing plc 2019. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Bloomsbury in Contemporary Philosophy and Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, 30-05-2019, available online: