Through the agents' minds: Cognitive mediators of social action

Mind and Society 1 (1):109-140 (2000)
Thesis: Macro-level social phenomena are implemented through the (social) actions and minds of the individuals. Without an explicit theory of the agents' minds that founds, agents' behavior we cannot understand macro-level social phenomena, and in particular how they work. AntiThesis: Mind is not enough: the theory of individual (social) mind and action is not enough to explain several macro-level social phenomena. First, there are pre-cognitive, objective social structures that constrain the actions of the agents; second, there are emergent, unaware or non-contractual forms of cooperation, organisation, and intelligence. Synthesis: The real challenge is how to reconcile, cognition with emergence, intention and deliberation with unknown or unplanned social functions and social order . Both objective structures and unplanned self-organising complex forms of social order and social function emerge from the interactions of agents and from their individual mental states; both these structures and self-organising systems feedback on agents' behaviors through the agents' individual minds
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