Collective Phronesis, 2019, Södertörn

An investigation of collective judgement and professional knowledge.

Symposium arranged by the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge, Södertörn University.

The aim of the symposium is to discuss whether, and if so how professional action can be understood as a collective capability, and in what way this capacity can be understood in terms of Practical wisdom, Phronesis (se Aristotle 1975, Kinsella/Pitman 2012). Professional action, e.g. in the role of a teacher or police officer, seems – by definition – to transcend the individual horizon of an agent. The professional identity implies that the individual (implicitly and/or explicitly) takes a representational stance regarding the profession as a collective. The question is how this can be understood. Together with researchers in the field of educational research, philosophy, philosophy of medicine and policing we will investigate the idea of “collective phronesis” by use of examples from different professional practices, such as teaching, health care and policing.

In the contemporary debate within social epistemology on the possibility of collective agency, one often speaks of two distinct cases/forms of collective judgement (Collins 2015; Goldman 2001). In the first case an individual (here: professional) has to judge upon a situation that requires social evidence, i. e. the judgments of others e.g. colleagues or on routines and informal rules. The second case is about situations where a group of individuals (here: professionals) act/judge together. Looking at the everyday practice of professionals, one can see that professional practices often have to deal with conflicts between these two cases. This is e.g. the case when it is not clear whether the judgement of the group is based on social evidence or informal rules.

Starting from this we want to discuss the following questions:
-In which way is professional action representative of certain – eventually contradictory notions of a “collective”?
– Which different concepts of “collectivity” can we distinguish? And how are they related to the idea of (individual) action and judgment?
– Is it possible to speak of collective responsibility with regard to the professional action of an individual subject? If yes, what are the implication for an understanding of professional action versus bureaucratic action and moral agency?


Bengt Bergman, Swedish Police Authority
”Negotiating (not inheriting) collective knowledge in Swedish police force.”
Anna-Mia Bergkvist, Centre for Studies in Practical knowledge, Södertörn University
“Collective activities? Teachers’ opportunities and resistance, in reforms and practice.”
Inger Eriksson, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education, Stockholm University & Stockholm Teaching & Learning Studies
“A research environment for teacher driven research – some demands and possibilities.”
Jonna Lappalainen, Centre for Studies in Practical knowledge, Södertörn University
Norbert Ricken, Department for Philosophy and Education, University of Bochum, Germany
“Concepts of sociality – and their relevance for a theory of pedagogical professionality”
Mani Shutzberg, Centre for Studies in Practical knowledge, Södertörn University
“Symptoms and/or cause of a shattered profession? Infrapolitical resistance among doctors.”
Eva Schwarz, Centre for Studies in Practical knowledge, Södertörn University
Silke Schicktanz, Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Göttingen, Germany “Collectivity in Health Care: The Ethics of Social Groups and their Practical Relevance.”

Open for everyone – Warm welcome!

28 – 29 March 2019


28/3: Room MA 624 – on the sixth floor in the main building, 29/3: Room MB 503 – on the fifth floor in the B-wing, main building, Södertörn University



Comments Off on Collective Phronesis, 2019, Södertörn
%d bloggers like this: