Collective Actors without Collective Minds: An Inferentialist Approach

Abstract

We present an inferentialist account of collective rationality and intentionality, according to which beliefs and other intentional states are understood in terms of the normative statuses attributed to, and undertaken by, the participants of a discursive practice—namely, their discursive or practical commitments and entitlements. Although these statuses are instituted by the performances and attitudes of the agents, they are not identified with any physical or psychological entity, process or relation. Therefore, we argue that inferentialism allows us to talk of collective intentionality and agency without needing to posit the existence of any sort of collective psychology or mind

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