Do you see what we see? An investigation of an argument against collective representation

Philosophical Psychology 21 (1):91 – 112 (2008)
Collectivities (states, club, unions, teams, etc.) are often fruitfully spoken of as though they possessed representational capacities. Despite this fact, many philosophers reject the possibility that collectivities might be thought of as genuinely representational. This paper addresses the most promising objection to the possibility of collective representation, the claim that there is no explanatory value to positing collective representations above and beyond the representational states of the individuals that compose a particular collectivity. I claim that this argument either proves too much, also giving us reason to abandon person-level representations, or it proves too little, demonstrating precisely the sort of continuity between individual and collective representations that would warrant the positing of genuine collective representations. I conclude with a brief sketch of two promising cases of collective representation that lend credence to my claim that individual representations and collective representations are analogous in a way that warrants the study of collective mentality from within the cognitive sciences.
Keywords Belief
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,850
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Gregory Bateson (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 12 references

Citations of this work BETA
Bryce Huebner (2011). Genuinely Collective Emotions. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):89-118.
Thomas Szanto (2014). How to Share a Mind: Reconsidering the Group Mind Thesis. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):99-120.

View all 8 citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #98,132 of 1,707,788 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #352,876 of 1,707,788 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.