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
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DOI 10.1080/09515080701870827
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Citations of this work BETA
Thomas Szanto (2014). How to Share a Mind: Reconsidering the Group Mind Thesis. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):99-120.
Bryce Huebner (2011). Genuinely Collective Emotions. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):89-118.

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