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Collective Intentionality, Norms and Institutions

A Philosophical Investigation about Human Cooperation

Guido Seddone

Cooperation is the fundamental feature of intelligent beings. It makes them able to evolve complex social behaviors and to better resolve practical issues. Humans have evolved a very powerful form of cooperation, which is spread anywhere in the everyday life: norms, institutions, states, hierarchies, ordinary relationships, etc., are deeply determined by the original notion of cooperation. This book addresses the conditions of the human cooperative activities in order to focus on their common roots and to bring them back to an unitary origin. It is profoundly animated by the task of understanding how cooperative skills are able to evolve the plurality of the cooperative activities from the spontaneous to the institutional ones and to find a common denominator for joint actions. It also explores the social-political aspects related to joint activities and deals with the notion of intersubjective freedom.
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with the acknowledgment of my indebtedness to relevant colleagues and academics. Firstly, a special thanks to the Department of History, Human Sciences and Education of the University of Sassari, Italy where I currently have a post-doc fellowship and to the Philosophical Institute of the University of Leipzig, Germany where I have obtained my PhD in philosophy and am permanent visiting scholar. A special thanks also goes to the Berkeley Social Ontology Group (UC Berkeley) where in May 2013 I had the opportunity to present the project of the present book. There was also a very fruitful exchange with the members of the European Network of Social Ontology (ENSO). There are many people who gave fundamental feedback and suggestions during the last five years, among them I would to remember: John Searle, Raimo Tuomela, Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer, Sebastiano Ghisu, Nikos Psarros, Andrea Kern, Michael Tomasello, Jennifer Hudin, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Sebastian Rödl, Heikki Ikäheimo, Arto Laitinien, Henrike Moll, Giuseppe Vicari, Raffaela Giovagnoli, Italo Testa, Corrado Roversi, Mattia Gallotti, Ulla Schmid. The ideas and methodology of this book have been decisively improved by their competent criticism, support and supervision. Finally, I would like to thank the Autonomous Region of Sardinia – Master&Back Program for the financial support.

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