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A Moral Theory of Solidarity$
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Avery Kolers

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769781.001.0001

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Solidarity in Action

Solidarity in Action

(p.49) 3 Solidarity in Action
A Moral Theory of Solidarity

Avery Kolers

Oxford University Press

Action in solidarity is in the first instance a case of acting together with others. Yet deference is essential to it. So solidarity can be roughly defined as political action on others’ terms. Unfortunately, contemporary theories of shared agency do not fully account for solidarity’s essentially deferential character or the relations among individuals and groups in solidarity. The chapter discusses Sangiovanni’s recent account of solidarity as joint action, challenging his analysis of solidarity in terms of shared goals, which cannot accommodate the limitations on knowledge and agreement typical of solidarity. The chapter then proposes a more satisfactory sufficient condition grounded in consummated deference, showing that this condition can be met not only when formal groups act in concert, but when previously disconnected individuals join together. The chapter shows that solidarity, so understood, can fit into both plural-subject and shared-intention theories of shared agency.

Keywords:   joint action, shared intention, plural subjects, congregation, group agency, Andrea Sangiovanni, Scott Shapiro, deference

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