About this topic
Summary In the late 19th and early 20th Century, many psychologists posited group minds to explain the behavior of crowds and states, as well as the emergence of norms and societal facts. In a world populated by powerful labor unions, anarchist collectives, and radical workers’ parties, each resisting the unfair demands of powerful corporate agents, it seemed reasonable to assume that powerful psychological forces were at play in the production of collective behavior. But these theories of collective mentality relied on such implausibly weak forms of functionalism and such excessively inflationary ontologies that they shared little in common with the theories of mental states that emerged in other parts of philosophy and the cognitive sciences. In the current age of popular uprisings, failing political parties, and increasing corporate power, it come s as no surprise that philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists have once again developed an interest in collective behavior. A number of popular books have attempted to resuscitate claims about collective intelligence and collective decision-making; and there is a rapidly growing philosophical literature on issues of collaboration, collective intentionality, collective decision-making, and collective responsibility. Research on collective mentality spans a wide range of philosophical topics that pertaining to group minds and collective mental states. Like the philosophy of mind more broadly, the investigation of collective mentality overlaps in rich and important ways with the philosophy of action and the philosophy of cognitive science.  On the one hand, there is a long tradition of analyzing the nature and possibility of collective intentionality (this research is mainly catalogued under the 'collective action', 'collective intentionality', and 'collective responsibility' subcategories). On the other hand, there is a more recent field of investigation, grounded in the scientific study of distributed cognition. This research has targeted everything from issues of cognitive architecture, to questions about the possibility of collective consciousness and the possibility of collective mental representation. 
Key works The literature on collective intentionality and collective responsibility is expansive, and key works for each of these areas should be found under those subheadings. From a perspective more heavily grounded in the philosophy of cognitive science, Clark 1994 argues that a Dennettian account of mentality can be extended to cover some types of groups, and Hutchins 1995 develops a framework for studying collective and distributed cognition based on Marr 1982Deborah 2003 and Rovane 1997 develop an approach to collective personhood based on the reactive attitudes. Theiner et al 2010 and Tollefsen 2006 develop defenses of the group mind in line with the more familiar extended mind hypothesis (Clark & Chalmers 1998). Sutton et al 2010 builds an empirical and theoretical foundation for the study of collective remembering. Wilson 2001 offers a critical appraisal of the collective psychology tradition that emerged in the late 19th Century, and develops the Social Manifestation Hypothesis as an alternative to positing group minds. Rupert 2005 develops a compelling set of objections to models of collective mentality that depend on appeals to intentionality, while Rupert 2011 offers a critical appraisal of empirical work on collective mentality. Finally, Huebner 2014 offers a sustained defense of the group mind hypothesis that builds on these resources and responds to the most common objections to the hypothesis of collective mentality.
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  1. Joint Venture Oder Feindliche Übernahme?Martin Abraham - 2004 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 46 (3):387-422.
  2. De l'Interaction À l'Engagement : Les Collectifs Électroniques, Nouveaux Militants de la Santé : Paroles Publiques: Communiquer Dans la Cité.Madeleine Akrich & Cécile Meadel - 2007 - Hermes 47:145.
    Les collectifs constitués sur l'interner interviennent-ils dans la cité? Existe-t-il des mécanismes qui permettent de passer des interactions électroniques à des interventions perçues comme émanant d'un groupe? En prenant comme terrain d'étude des listes de discussion par mail sur des thématiques liées à la santé et au handicap, on verra émerger trois niveaux d'action collective: les actions individuelles qui visent à des formes de reconnaissance collective; l'agrégation d'actions individuelles, en particulier à travers des outils de représentation propres à chaque liste; (...)
  3. The Origins of Collective Overvaluation: Irrational Exuberance Emerges From Simple, Honest and Rational Individual Behavior.Michael L. Anderson - unknown
    The generation of value bubbles is an inherently psychological and social process, where information sharing and individual decisions can affect representations of value. Bubbles occur in many domains, from the stock market, to the runway, to the laboratories of science. Here we seek to understand how psychological and social processes lead representations (i.e., expectations) of value to become divorced from the inherent value, using asset bubbles as an example. We hypothesize that simple asset group switching rules can give rise to (...)
  4. The Social Problem Group.Richard Ja Berry - 1932 - The Eugenics Review 23 (4):377.
  5. The Myth of Social Action.Colin Campbell - 1996
  6. Group and Individual Decisions in Problem Situations - Aspirations and Achievements.Zdzislaw Chlewinski - 1981 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 29 (4):73.
  7. Joint Working Group Between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches Seventh Report Including: The History of the Rcc/Wcc Joint Working Group and with Three Study Documents Commissioned and Received by the Joint Working Group: The Ecumenical Dialogue on Moral Issues : Potential Sources of Common Witness or of Divisions ; the Challenge of Proselytism and the Calling to Common Witness ; Ecumenical Formation : Ecumenical Reflections and Suggestions.Joint Working Group of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches & World Council of Churches - 1998
  8. The Chesterfield Group.Paul Clark - 2002 - Philosophy Pathways 25.
  9. The Militant Collective: Jesuits and Leninists.Lewis Coser - 1973 - Social Research 40.
  10. Epistemic Dependence and Collective Scientific Knowledge.Jeroen de Ridder - 2013 - Synthese 191 (1):1-17.
    I argue that scientific knowledge is collective knowledge, in a sense to be specified and defended. I first consider some existing proposals for construing collective knowledge and argue that they are unsatisfactory, at least for scientific knowledge as we encounter it in actual scientific practice. Then I introduce an alternative conception of collective knowledge, on which knowledge is collective if there is a strong form of mutual epistemic dependence among scientists, which makes it so that satisfaction of the justification condition (...)
  11. Collective Scientific Knowledge.Melinda Fagan - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):821-831.
    Philosophical debates about collective scientific knowledge concern two distinct theses: groups are necessary to produce scientific knowledge, and groups have scientific knowledge in their own right. Thesis has strong support. Groups are required, in many cases of scientific inquiry, to satisfy methodological norms, to develop theoretical concepts, or to validate the results of inquiry as scientific knowledge. So scientific knowledge‐production is collective in at least three respects. However, support for is more equivocal. Though some examples suggest that groups have scientific (...)
  12. Saying One Thing and Meaning Another: A Dual Process Approach to Conversational Implicature.K. Frankish & M. Kasmirli - unknown
    [About the book]: This volume is a state-of-the-art survey of the psychology of reasoning, based around, and in tribute to, one of the field's most eminent figures: Jonathan St B.T. Evans.In this collection of cutting edge research, Evans' collaborators and colleagues review a wide range of important and developing areas of inquiry. These include biases in thinking, probabilistic and causal reasoning, people's use of 'if' sentences in arguments, the dual-process theory of thought, and the nature of human rationality. These foundational (...)
  13. The Social Problem Group.C. N. Freeman - 1932 - The Eugenics Review 24 (1):71.
  14. Sociality and Responsibility: New Essays in Plural Subject Theory.Margaret Gilbert - 2000 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    One of the most distinguished living social philosophers, Margaret Gilbert develops and extends her application of plural subject theory of human sociality, first introduced in her earlier works On Social Facts and Living Together. Sociality and Responsibility presents an extended discussion of her proposal that joint commitments inherently involve obligations and rights, proposing, in effect, a new theory of obligations and rights. In addition, it demonstrates the extensive range and fruitfulness of plural subject theory by presenting accounts of social rules, (...)
  15. Conflict in Roles.Katherina Glac - 2014 - Business and Society 53 (3):440-460.
    This empirical study examines how group membership affects the likelihood of lies occurring in a two-person negotiation setting involving an experimental design with a repeated ultimatum bargaining. To better understand the reasoning of the negotiator in in-group and out-group bargaining exercises, the authors also examined perceptions of fairness in relation to offers for the in-group and out-group. The authors find that when negotiating, individuals tell lies of greater magnitude to out-group members than to in-group members. In both situations, the magnitude (...)
  16. A Discussion in the Mensanamonographs E-Group.C. Goel - 2007 - Mens Sana Monographs 5 (1):205.
  17. Collective Rationality: A Dilemma for Democrats but a Solution Through Deliberation?Natalie Gold - 2004 - In A. van Aaken, C. List & C. Luetge (eds.), In Deliberation and Decision: A Dialogue Between Economics, Constitutional Theory, and Deliberative Democracy. Ashgate.
  18. The Collective Classic: A Case for the Reading of Science.David E. Goodney & Carol S. Long - 2003 - Science and Education 12 (2):167-184.
  19. A Comparison of Collective and Individual Judgments of Fact.H. Gurnee - 1937 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 21 (1):106.
  20. The Primacy of Perception and the Cognitive Paradigm : Reply to de Mey.Patrick Heelan - 1987 - Social Epistemology 1 (4):321 – 326.
  21. Group-Level Expression Encoded in the Individual.Paul Ibbotson - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):261-262.
  22. Law and Structures of Social Action. [REVIEW]E. B. J. - 1957 - Review of Metaphysics 10 (3):536-536.
  23. How Do Non-Joint Commitments Come Into Being? An Attempt at Cultural Naturalism.Ingvar Johansson - 2007 - In Nikolaos Psarros & Katinka Schulte-Ostermann (eds.), Facets of Sociality. Ontos. pp. 135--150.
  24. A Social Problem Group?'.D. Caradog Jones - 1943 - Eugenics Review 35:12.
  25. Roger Roseth and Medieval Obligations Logic.Simo Knuuttila & O. Hallamaa - 1995 - Logique Et Analyse 149:75-87.
  26. Group Assertion.Jennifer Lackey - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    In this paper, I provide the framework for an account of group assertion. On my view, there are two kinds of group assertion, coordinated and authority-based, with authority-based group assertion being the core notion. I argue against a deflationary view, according to which a group’s asserting is understood in terms of individual assertions, by showing that a group can assert a proposition even when no individual does. Instead, I argue on behalf of an inflationary view, according to which it is (...)
  27. Ethnicity: Strategies of Collective and Individual Impression Management.Stanford Lyman & William Douglass - 1973 - Social Research 40.
  28. Group Action and Group Responsibility.Pekka Mäkelä & Raimo Tuomela - 2002 - ProtoSociology 16.
  29. The Social Problem Group: The President's Account of the Society's Next Task.Bernard Mallet - 1931 - The Eugenics Review 23 (3):203.
  30. On Collective Identity.Kay Mathiesen - 2003 - ProtoSociology 18:66-86.
    In this paper, I examine a particularly important kind of social group, what I call a "collective." Collectives are distinguished from other social groups by the fact that the members of collectives can think and act "in the name of" the group; they can collectively plan for its future, work for its success, and grieve at its failure. As a result, collectives have certain person-like properties that other social groups lack. I argue that persons form collectives by taking a shared (...)
  31. Two Modes of Collective Belief.Christopher Mcmahon - 2003 - ProtoSociology 18.
  32. Kommunikatives Handeln Bei Tuomela.Georg Meggle - 1997 - Analyse & Kritik 2 (97):173-188.
    According to Tuomela, comunicative actions are a special case of social actions. As to the relevant differentia, he gives us different proposals. How are these proposals to be judged from the perspective of a communication theory formulated in strictly intentionalistic terms?
  33. Talks on Religion. A Collective Inquiry.Henry Bedinger Mitchell & Maurice Serol - 1908 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 5 (24):661-664.
  34. Individuality in a Collective World.Barbara Spofford Morgan - 1937 - Philosophical Review 46:235.
  35. A Gap Cohomology Group.Charles Morgan - 1995 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 41 (4):564-570.
    Dan Talayco has recently defined the gap cohomology group of a tower in p/fin of height ω1. This group is isomorphic to the collection of gaps in the tower modulo the equivalence relation given by two gaps being equivalent if their levelwise symmetric difference is not a gap in the tower, the group operation being levelwise symmetric difference. Talayco showed that the size of this group is always at least 2N0 and that it attains its greatest possible size, 2N1, if (...)
  36. Jurisdiction, Inscription, and State Formation: Administrative Modernism and Knowledge Regimes. [REVIEW]Chandra Mukerji - 2011 - Theory and Society 40 (3):223-245.
  37. Formal Theory of Group Actions and its Applications.Maria Nowakowska - 1978 - Philosophica 21.
  38. What We Together Can Do.Felix Pinkert - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):187-202.
    In moral and political philosophy, collective obligations are promising “gap-stoppers” when we find that we need to assert some obligation, but can not plausibly ascribe this obligation to individual agents. Most notably, Bill Wringe and Jesse Tomalty discuss whether the obligations that correspond to socio-economic human rights are held by states or even by humankind at large. The present paper aims to provide a missing piece for these discussions, namely an account of the conditions under which obligations can apply to (...)
  39. The Joint Association of Classical Teachers.Américo da Costa Ramalho - 1960 - Humanitas 15.
  40. Epistemic Dependence and Collective Scientific Knowledge.G. J. De Ridder - unknown
  41. Lépreux Et Maladreries du Pas-de-Calais : Psychologie Collective Et Institutions Charitables. [REVIEW]Susanne Roberts - 1974 - Speculum 50 (1):91-92.
  42. The Effect on Group Performance of an Indifferent and Neglectful Attitude Shown by One Group Member.David Rosenthal & Charles N. Cofer - 1948 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 38 (5):568.
  43. Why People Are Atypical Agents.Don Ross - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (1):87-116.
    Abstract In this paper, I argue that the traditional philosophical approach of taking cognitively and emotionally competent adult people to be the prototypical instances of agency should be revised in light of current work in the behavioral sciences. Logical consistency in application is better served by taking simple goal-directed and feedback-governed systems such as insects as the prototypes of the concept of agency, with people being agents ?by extension? in the same sense as countries or corporations.
  44. Collective Commitment: A Theoretical Understanding of Human Cooperation.Lambèr Royakkers & Vincent Buskens - 2002 - ProtoSociology 16.
  45. Collaborative Viewpoints: The Writing of Impossible Descriptions.Ann Schilo & Anna Sabadini - 2011 - Colloquy 21:261-273.
    The emergence of feminism in the late twentieth century saw a critical reappraisal of conventional modernist approaches to theory and practice in the visual arts. Concomitantly, postmodernism posited the “death of the author” and made more implicit the viewer‟s role in the generation of art. While much subsequent scholarship has been devoted to understandings of women‟s artistic practices and their placement within the art historical canon, and some attention has been paid to the question of collaborative authorship, especially in the (...)
  46. Social Action.Gottfried Seebass & Raimo Tuomela - 1985
  47. The Mensanamonographs Group.A. Singh - 2006 - Mens Sana Monographs 4 (1):19.
  48. Learning to Signal with Probe and Adjust – Corrigendum.Brian Skyrms - 2013 - Episteme 10 (3):333-333.
  49. The Role of E-Trust in Distributed Artificial Systems.Mariarosaria Taddeo - 2011 - In Charles Ess & May Thorseth (eds.), Trust and Virtual Worlds. Peter Lang.
  50. Challenging Epistemic Individualism.Deborah Tollefsen - 2002 - ProtoSociology 16.
    Contemporary analytic epistemology exhibits an individualistic bias. The standard analyses of knowledge found in current epistemological discussions assume that the only epistemic agents worthy of philosophical consideration are individual cognizers. The idea that collectives could be genuine knowers has received little, if any, serious consideration. This individualistic bias seems to be motivated by the view that epistemology is about things that go on inside the head. In this paper I challenge this type of epistemic individualism by arguing that certain groups (...)
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