Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Catherine Robb (Tilburg University): ‘The Metaphysics of Collective Talent’

4 June, 2:00 pm3:30 pm

Abstract: Talents often a play an important role in our lives, demarcating what we are good at, the subjects we choose to study at school, our future careers, and the activities that we enjoy. The nature and value of talents has been a topic of study in many fields, most notably, psychology, education, organisation management, and more recently, philosophy. However, the focus of the research is mostly on the identification and development of individual talent. Despite this important focus, in everyday life we also attribute talent to groups. For example, we often compare the talent of sports and music groups, and even political collectives, cities and countries have been described as talented in some contexts.

Perhaps these ascriptions of group talent are mistaken, such that when we refer to ‘group’ talent we just mean that the individual members of the group are talented. But perhaps attributing talent to groups tracks something ontologically distinct about the group that cannot be reduced to the talent of each individual. If ascriptions of group talent are not mistaken, then further questions arise: can groups be talented, what is the nature of the group’s talent, and what is the relation between the individual members in the talented group? In this paper, I develop a framework for the metaphysics of collective talent, drawing on the already existing philosophical literature on the nature of group agency, joint intentionality, joint agency, and the metaphysics of ability.

Catherine Robb is an Assistant Professor at Tilburg University. Catherine’s research interests are in ethics and metaphysics, particularly the nature and value of talent, ability and skill, and the implications this has for well-being, morality and equality.

This event will take place in person on LSE’s campus. However, those unable to attend in person will have the option of taking part online.

To join online just follow these instructions:

Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.


4 June
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method


LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map