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Ruth Zimmerling Influence and Power: Variations on a Messy Theme The Concept of Influence.

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Presentation on theme: "Ruth Zimmerling Influence and Power: Variations on a Messy Theme The Concept of Influence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ruth Zimmerling Influence and Power: Variations on a Messy Theme The Concept of Influence

2 Logical Analysis Are Influence and Power the same or different? – Same – Different One is whole, the other part – Influence is a kind of power – Power is a kind of influence They are complementary

3 Treatment of Existing Views Power-as-ability-to-influence Influence is more general than power – Sanction based – Intention based Power is more general than influence Power and Influence are complementary

4 Zimmerling’s Proposal Power and inflence are disjoint categories—not linked by super- and subordination [but not completely complementary either] – “Social power [is] defined as the abilit to get desired outcomes by making others do what one wants, i.e., by somehow (no matter how) imposing one’s preferences on the them.” – “Social influence, in contrast, [is] defined as the ‘ability’ to affect others’ beliefs, that is, their knowledge or opinions either about what is or about what ought to be the case, about what is (empirically) true or false or what is (normatively) right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable.” (141) – “There is a direct conceptual link (though, of course, not a direct causal link) between a power-holder’s will and a power subject’s actions, whereas in influence, there is no such direct conceptual link with either one of the two components.” (142)

5 Zimmerling’s Proposal If power is to be exercised in order to get anther to act in a certain way, (and actions arise from preferences based on beliefs), then there are three ways to exercise power: – Change the existing state of affairs (constraints, incentives) so that the subject’s empirical and normative beliefs lead to new (conforming) preferences. – Change the subject’s empirical beliefs to support preference for desired action – Change the subject’s normative beliefs to support preference for the desired action

6 Zimmerling’s Proposal If influence is the ability to affect a subject’s empirical and normative beliefs, then the exercise of influence would appear to take two forms. – Narrow view: an intentional and successful attempt to affect another’s beliefs in precisely the way intended – Broad view: any case in which an agent’s action somehow affects another’s belief.

7 Zimmerling’s Proposal – Types of outcome in the broad view of influence Failed attempts—where intended effects of an influence attempt and not achieved, but another, unintended change in belief follows as a sequel to the attempt Non-attempts—where the actions of an agent have uncontempated effects on the beliefs of a subject


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