In recent years there has been an interesting turn in the philosophical literature to groups and collective action. At the same time there has been a renewed interest in various forms of methodological individualism. This paper attempts to show the diversity of group action that is overlooked by much of the literature, to clarify some of the ambiguities that plague our language about groups and collectives, and to support the view that social entities are genuine. Some important arguments against social entities being genuine are rebutted. The existence of social entities gives some substance to the debate about methodological individualism, but the resolution of the debate has depended too much on empirical results in the distant future. The article ends with some suggestions on how the debate matters in looking for biases in the directions of current social theorizing.
© 1988 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart