Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Second Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf


Competition and cooperation are often perceived as opposites, but there is a middle ground in which they come together: competitive games like chess or soccer. Leading accounts of joint action theory fail to explain games of this sort. I propose a definition of cooperative competitions as joint events in which agents possess a joint competitive intention. An agent has a joint competitive intention when a) she has the goal to win or snatch an advantage over her opponent, b) she agrees to act in an uncoerced way, and c) she has the intention to follow the norms governing the activity in question. Finally, I defend my definition from objections and show how my account can helpfully reframe our understanding of what a cooperation is to make room for agonistic aims.


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