Implicit Coordination: Acting Quasi-Jointly on Implicit Shared Intentions


  • Judith Martens University of Antwerp
  • Luke Roelofs New York University


joint action, implicit intention, social ontology, collective agency, collective intentionality


We identify a social phenomenon in which large numbers of people seem to work towards a shared goal without explicitly trying to do so. We argue that this phenomenon – implicit coordination – is best understood as a form of joint agency differing from the forms most commonly discussed in the literature in the same way that individual actions driven by “explicit” intentions (those available for reflection and report) differ from individual actions driven by “implicit” intentions (those not thus available). More precisely, implicit coordination is both analogous to wholly implicit individual intentions, and constituted by the partly implicit intentions of participants. We discuss the significance of this category for action theory, social ontology, and social criticism.


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How to Cite

Martens, Judith, and Luke Roelofs. 2019. “Implicit Coordination: Acting Quasi-Jointly on Implicit Shared Intentions”. Journal of Social Ontology 4 (2). Vienna, Austria:93-120.