ProtoSociology 16:70-85 (2002)
AbstractPropositional attitudes, such as beliefs, desires, and intentions, can be attributed to collective agents. In my paper I focus on cognitive attitudes, and I explore the various types of collective beliefs. I argue that there is a whole spectrum of collective beliefs, and I distinguish between two extremes: the weak opinion poll conception and the strong agreement-based conception. Strong collective beliefs should be understood in terms of the acceptance of a proposition rather than of belief proper. They are not purely epistemic and involve practical considerations. To believe that p collectively in the strong sense is to adopt a policy to use that proposition in the group's deliberations about future actions
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