Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2021-22, Extra Session

Doing things individually in virtue of doing them together
Thomas Byrne (MIT)

22 June 2022, 11:00 (Lisbon Time – WET) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Just as person A might, e.g., kill person B, so too might A1 and A2 kill B together: if A1 holds B down, while A2 strangles him, then A1 and A2 kill B together. In virtue of them killing B together, it’s also the case that A1 killed B and the case that A2 killed B. Similarly, if A1 lays half the bricks and A2 lays the other half, then A1 and A2 build a wall together; and, in virtue of them building the wall together, it’s also the case that A1 built the wall and A2 built the wall. Those are both examples of A1 and A2 each V-ing in virtue of them V-ing together—and other such examples, abound. I’m interested in the limits of that schema: when is the fact that A1 and A2 (and A3…) , e.g., built the wall together sufficient for it to be the case that A1 built the wall, and when isn’t it?