Chapter 1 sets out the problem of institutional agency, explains the project and its methodology, describes the structure of the book, and gives advice to readers on navigating through it. The central problem of institutional action is to understand how the structure of institutions is grounded in more primitive forms of joint intentional action, and how those more primitive forms of joint intentional action are expressed through those institutional structures. The project aims to uncover the conceptual structure of institutional agency, taking as examples familiar institutions. It starts with the question of the logical form of grammatically singular group action sentences, that is, action sentences about mobs and organizations and institutions, and then provides reductive analyses of key notions in understanding institutional action in particular, namely, constitutive rules, status functions and roles, institutional membership, and proxy agency.
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