Kirk Alan Ludwig

Kirk Alan Ludwig
Indiana University Bloomington | IUB · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

131
Publications
23,466
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1,256
Citations
Citations since 2016
25 Research Items
601 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
I work in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, especially collective action, and epistemology. Recent books: From Individual to Plural Agency: Collective Action I, OUP, Dec. 13, 2016. From Plural to Institutional Agency: Collective Action II, OUP, Dec. 28, 2017. The Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality, co-edited with Marija Jankovic, January 2018. I am current writing an Introduction to Collective Intentionality in Action, Thought and Society with Marija Jankovic.
Additional affiliations
July 2010 - present
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Chair
August 1990 - July 2010
University of Florida
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
August 1983 - May 1990
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Philosophy
August 1978 - May 1981

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
Full-text available
This paper shows that recent arguments from group problem solving and task performance to emergent group level cognition that rest on the social parity and related principles are invalid or question begging. The paper shows that standard attributions of problem solving or task performance to groups require only multiple agents of the outcome, not a...
Article
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There are two main interpretive positions on Davidson’s project in the theory of meaning. The Replacement Theory holds that Davidson aimed to replace the theory of meaning with the theory of truth on the grounds that meaning is too unclear a notion for systematic theorizing. The Traditional Pursuit Theory, in contrast, holds that Davidson aimed to...
Article
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A contribution to a symposium on Michael Bratman
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An important objection to sententialist theories of attitude reports is that they cannot accommodate the principle that one cannot know that someone believes that p without knowing what it is that he believes. This paper argues that a parallel problem arises for propositionalist accounts that has gone largely unnoticed, and that, furthermore, the u...
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This paper gives an account of proxy agency in the context of collective action. It takes the case of a group announcing something by way of a spokesperson as an illustration. In proxy agency, it seems that one person or subgroup's doing something counts as orconstitutes or is recognized as (tantamount to) another person or group's doing something....
Article
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This paper argues for a deflationary account of trying on which ‘x tried to ϕ’ abbreviates ‘x did something with the intention of ϕ-ing’, where ‘did something’ is treated as a schematic verb. On this account, tryings are not a distinctive sort of episode present in some or all cases of acting. ‘x tried to ϕ’ simply relates some doing of x’s to a fu...
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This article responds to a case-based argument by Mark Richard that rule of reference is not essential to meaning. It objects that the argument requires shifting between understanding the relevant term in the case, ‘marriage,’ as a determinable, in order to support one premise, and a determinate, in order to support another. On no univocal interpre...
Chapter
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Collective intentionality concerns the intentionality of groups or collectives. Intentionality is the property of being about, directed at, oriented toward, or representing objects, events, properties, and states of affairs. Examples of intentional states (states with intentionality, not just intentions) are belief, desire, hope, intention, admirat...
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Cooperation defines the social world. What are its limits? What draws the line between cooperation (even if not full cooperation) and mere coordination? What is its relation to joint intentional action? This chapter argues that minimal cooperation—in the sense of cooperation at play in our understanding of the human social world—coincides with mini...
Article
This article raises two questions about Robert Myers and Claudine Verheggen's terrific book, Donald Davidson's Triangulation Argument: A Philosophical Inquiry . The first question, concerning the first part of the book, is whether, starting from the assumption that a solitary individual cannot have thought contents, we can show that adding another...
Book
This volume brings together top scholars in the philosophy of mind and action to discuss minimality in cooperation. In general, ‘minimality’ can be understood in a diverse number of ways. It can refer, for example, to the minimal or necessary criteria for cooperation or, alternatively, ‘minimal’ can be understood in the sense of ‘basic’ or ‘simple’...
Chapter
This chapter argues that the only tenable unconscious inferences theories of cognitive achievement are ones that employ a theory internal technical notion of representation, but that once we give cash-value definitions of the relevant notions of representation and inference, there is little left of the ordinary notion of representation. We suggest...
Article
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Olle Blomberg challenges three claims in my book From Individual to Plural Agency (Ludwig, Kirk (2016): From Individual to Plural Agency: Collective Action 1 . Vols. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press.). The first is that there are no collective actions in the sense in which there are individual actions. The second is that singular action sentences...
Article
The paper provides a taxonomy of group speech acts whose main division is that between collective speech acts (singing Happy Birthday, agreeing to meet) and group proxy speech acts in which a group, such as a corporation, employs a proxy, such as a spokesperson, to convey its official position. The paper provides an analysis of group proxy speech a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cooperation defines the social world. What are its limits? What draws the line between cooperation (even if not full cooperation) and mere coordination? What is its relation to joint intentional action? This chapter argues that minimal cooperation-in the sense of cooperation at play in our understanding of the human social world-coincides with mini...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article argues that in cases in which a (non-institutional) group is collective causally responsible and collectively morally responsible for some harm which is either (i) brought about intentionally or (ii) foreseen as the side effect of something brought about intentionally or (iii) unforeseen but a nonaggregative harm, each member of the gr...
Preprint
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What is the lesson of the Sorites Paradox? In this paper, we argue that it has largely been missed, and we return to a theorem we published in (2002), which we use to diagnose what has gone wrong in soritical reasoning, and to organize various things people have said about vagueness, such as Kit Fine’s impossibility result (2008). The theorem, toge...
Preprint
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In proxy assertion one person or group (the principal), asserts something through another (the proxy) who speaks on the principal’s behalf. The paradigmatic example of proxy assertion is making an assertion through a spokesperson. When an individual or a group’s spokesperson speaks in her capacity as spokesperson, then the individual or group is cr...
Preprint
Full-text available
We argue that the only tenable unconscious inference theories of cognitive achievement are ones that employ a theory internal technical notion of representation but that once we give cash-value definitions of the relevant notions of representation and inference, it is difficult to see that much is left of the ordinary notion of representation. We s...
Chapter
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This chapter argues that while quotation marks are polysemous, the thread that runs through all uses of quotation marks that involve reference to expressions is pure quotation, in which an expression formed by enclosing another expression in quotation marks refers to that enclosed expression. We defend a version of the so-called disquotational theo...
Chapter
In his paper Ludwig argues for methodological individualism and, in a novel way, against my we-mode approach.1 According to him (I) the irreducibility of the we-mode to the I-mode (as claimed in my Social Ontology (SO)) does not entail that methodological individualism is to be rejected.2 He also argues that (II) the three central criteria for we-m...
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Raimo Tuomela is one of the pioneers of social action theory and has done as much as anyone over the last 30 years to advance the study of social action and collective intentionality. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents (2013) presents the latest version of his theory and applications to a range of important social phenomena...
Book
Can institutional agency be understood in terms of informal (plural) group agency? This book argues that the answer is 'yes', and more specifically that both can be understood ultimately in terms of the agency of individuals who are members of such groups and in terms of the concepts already at play in our understanding of individual agency. Thus,...
Article
This paper replies to Himmelreich's ‘The Paraphrase Argument Against Collective Actions’ [2017], which presents three putative counterexamples to the multiple agents analysis of plural action sentences. The paper shows that the argument from the first example, the discursive dilemma, fails because it relies crucially on a simplification of the targ...
Article
Corporations have often been taken to be the paradigm of an organization whose agency is autonomous from that of the successive waves of people who occupy the pattern of roles that define its structure, which licenses saying that the corporation has attitudes, interests, goals, and beliefs which are not those of the role occupants. In this essay, I...
Article
In “The Argument for Subject Body Dualism from Transtemporal Identity Defended” (2013), Martine Nida-Rümelin (NR) responded to my (Ludwig 2013) criticism of her (2010) argument for subject- body dualism. The crucial premise of her (2010) argument was that there is a factual difference between the claims that in a fission case the original person is...
Book
Kirk Ludwig develops a novel reductive account of plural discourse about collective action and shared intention. Part I develops the event analysis of action sentences, provides an account of the content of individual intentions, and on that basis an analysis of individual intentional action. Part II shows how to extend the account to collective ac...
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This essay identifies two arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, a direct argument in Justice Kennedy’s opinion, and an indirect argument in Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion, for applying the First Amendment to corporate speech. It argues that the direct argument’s assumption that co...
Article
This is a review essay on Carol Rovane's book The Metaphysics and Ethics of Relativism. It outlines the argument, clarifies the main thesis, raises some questions about some of the arguments, and explores the implications of the main themes of the book.
Article
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What is the ontology of collective action? I have in mind here a number of connected questions. 1. To understand action sentences about groups, do we have to admit group agents over and above individual agents, and, if so, must we attribute to them intentions, beliefs, and desires distinct from the intentions, beliefs, and desires of their members...
Article
Full-text available
This paper gives an account of proxy agency in the context of collective action. It takes the case of a group announcing something by way of a spokesperson as an illustration. In proxy agency, it seems that one person or subgroup’s doing something counts as or constitutes or is recognized as (tantamount to) another person or group’s doing something...
Chapter
In this chapter, we defend the view that Davidson aimed not to replace the theory of meaning with the theory of truth, or to capture only certain features of the ordinary notion of meaning for certain theoretical purposes, but rather to pursue the traditional project of explaining in the broadest terms “what it is for words to mean what they do” th...
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In this chapter, I defend the program of conceptual analysis, broadly construed, and the method of thought experiments in epistemology, as a first-person enterprise, that is, as one which draws on the investigator's own competence in the relevant concepts. I do not suggest that epistemology is limited to conceptual analysis, that it does not have i...
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The introduction provides an overview of Davidson's work in the theory of meaning in general, on truth-theoretic semantics in particular, its connections with radical interpretation, and in turn, the connection of radical interpretation with Davidson's conception of the mental. It reviews the main contributions of the volume, and takes up a number...
Book
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The analysis of the connections between truth, meaning, thought, and action poses a major philosophical challenge--one that Donald Davidson addressed by establishing a unified theory of language and mind. This volume offers a reappraisal of Davidson's intellectual legacy. Twelve specially written essays by leading philosophers in the field illumina...
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In this paper, we defend Davidson's program in truth-theoretical semantics against recent criticisms by Scott Soames. We argue that Soames has misunderstood Davidson's project, that in consequence his criticisms miss the mark, that appeal to meanings as entities in the alternative approach that Soames favors does no work, and that the approach is n...
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I address a criticism of the use of thought experiments in conceptual analysis advanced on the basis of the survey method of so-called experimental philosophy. The criticism holds that surveys show that intuitions are relative to cultures in a way that undermines the claim that intuition-based investigation yields any objective answer to philosophi...
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Book Information Causing Actions. Causing Actions Paul Pietroski New York Oxford University Press 2002 288 Hardback US$49.95 Paperback US$22 By Paul Pietroski. Oxford University Press. New York. Pp. 288. Hardback:US$49.95; Paperback:US$22,
Chapter
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Essays on Actions and Events (Davidson 2001a, henceforth EAE) brings together seminal papers by Donald Davidson, one of the most influential philosophers in the analytic tradition in the latter half of the twentieth century, in the areas of the philosophy of action, the metaphysics of events and the philosophy of psychology. Davidson's central cont...
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This article begins by distinguishing force and mood. Then it lays out desiderata on a successful account. It sketches as background the program of truth-theoretic semantics. Next, it surveys assimilation approaches and argues that they are inadequate. Then it shows how the fulfillment-conditional approach can be applied to imperatives, interrogati...
Article
In The Mind Doesn ' t Work That Way , Jerry Fodor argues that mental representations have context sensitive features relevant to cognition, and that, therefore, the Classical Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) is mistaken. We call this the Globality Argument. This is an in principle argument against CTM. We argue that it is self-defeating. We consi...
Chapter
IntroductionMarks of the MentalThe PhysicalMind-Body RelationsThe Mind-Body ProblemThe Logical Space of Solutions1.7 Conclusion
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We sketch an account according to which the semantic concepts themselves are not pathological and the pathologies that attend the semantic predicates arise because of the intention to impose on them a role they cannot fulfill, that of expressing semantic concepts for a language that includes them. We provide a simplified model of the account and ar...
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Third person approaches to thought experiments and conceptual analysis through the method of surveys are motivated by and motivate skepticism about the traditional first person method. I argue that such surveys give no good ground for skepticism, that they have some utility, but that they do not represent a fundamentally new way of doing philosophy...
Article
An analysis of collective action, collective intention, and collective intentional action, from the standpoint of the event analysis of the matrix of action sentences.
Book
This book examines the foundations and applications of the program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages introduced in 1967 by Donald Davidson in his classic paper 'Truth and Meaning'. Its primary aim is to illustrate the promise of the truth-theoretic approach by laying out the philosophical foundations of it, and then sketching and d...
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The foundation of any account of social reality is an account of the nature of collective behavior, and in particular collective intentional behavior. Social practices and social interaction of any sort involve some form of collective intentional behavior essentially. If we do not understand the latter, we do not understand the former.
Article
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This paper advances a general argument, inspired by some remarks of David- son, to show that appeal to meanings as entities in the theory of meaning is neither necessary nor sufficient for carrying out the tasks of the theory of meaning. The crucial point is that appeal to meaning as entities fails to provide us with an understanding of any express...
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This chapter takes up the question whether the aim of perception is to provide accurate representations in the context of the suggestion that we are subject to a Grand Illusion about the accuracy and completeness of visual experience in the light of experimental findings about change blindness and inattentional blindness and other phenomena, and an...
Article
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Donald Davidson (1917-2003) was one of the most important philosophers of the late twentieth century. This book provides a systematic exposition and clarification of his work in the philosophy of language and the theory of meaning, and of his contributions to the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology that spring from it. In addition, it...

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Project (1)
Project
This is the second volume in a two-volume project on the nature and structure of collective action and intention more generally. The fundamental tenet of the project is that all collective intentional action, from two people taking a walk together, to the Paris Mob storming the Bastille on 14 July 1789, to the Allies invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944, while not mere aggregates of individual intentional behavior, can still be understood ultimately in terms of concepts already in play in our understanding of individual agency. The first volume argued for the multiple agents account of plural agency and the shared plan account of we-intentions. On the multiple agents account of plural agency, for us to do something together is just for each of us (and no one else) to contribute to bringing it about (in some relevant way or ways). On this account, the truth conditions for ordinary plural statements about group action do not require group agents per se. The shared plan account of we-intentions holds that when one intends to participate in joint intentional action, one intends to do something to contribute to bringing it about that, at the time of action, we do something together in accordance with a shared plan. The second volume extends this account to the context of institutional and mob action expressed in grammatically singular action sentences. The central idea is that institutions are systems of status roles (citizen, senator, judge, professor, lawyer, and so on), where status roles are status functions assigned to agents in social transactions requiring the intentional expression of their own agency. Status functions are functions that things (persons, objects, events, processes) have relative to social transactions only in virtue of the participants (in a certain sense) assigning them those functions. This comes about from the relevant social transactions being governed by constitutive rules (rules the intentional following of which constitute the activity they govern) that specify functional roles for objects, which require those who participate in them to coordinate on the same things as filling those roles in order to carry them out. Shared policies regarding which things or types of things to coordinate on give rise to conventions. These conventions are the infrastructure of social reality. Institutional membership per se is also a status role, hence, socially constructed, not natural, and is typically time indexed. In this lies the solution to most of the puzzles about how to extend the account of plural agency to the domain of grammatically singular action sentences. It is the contention of this book that all of social reality is made of these basic ingredients.