How groups persist

Synthese 198 (8):1-15 (2019)
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Abstract

How do groups of people persist through time? Groups can change their members, locations, and structure. In this paper, I present puzzles of persistence applied to social groups. I first argue that four-dimensional theories better explain the context sensitivity of how groups persist. I then exploit two unique features of the social to argue for the stage theory of group persistence in particular. First, fusion and fission cases actually happen to social groups, and so cannot be marginalized as “pathological.” Second, it is implausible that groups spatially coincide pre-fission. This means that theories that depend on pre-fission spatial coincidence, such as some endurance theories and the worm theory, cannot explain fission cases. All things considered, the stage theory offers the best explanation of how groups persist.

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August Faller
Bryn Mawr College

References found in this work

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The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Grounding in the image of causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.

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