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A Theory of Political ObligationMembership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society$
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Margaret Gilbert

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199274959.001.0001

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Societies as Plural Subjects

Societies as Plural Subjects

(p.165) 8 Societies as Plural Subjects
A Theory of Political Obligation

Margaret Gilbert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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