Erkenntnis:1-21 (forthcoming)

Lukas Schwengerer
University of Duisburg-Essen
We seem to ascribe mental states and agency to groups. We say ‘Google knows such-and-such,’ or ‘Amazon intends to do such-and-such.’ This observation of ordinary parlance also found its way into philosophical accounts of social groups and collective intentionality. However, these discussions are usually quiet about how groups self-ascribe their own beliefs and intentions. Apple might explain to its shareholders that it intends to bring a new iPhone to the market next year. But how does Apple know what it intends? How do groups get to know their own mental states? This is the question of collective self-knowledge. I argue that collective self-knowledge is a distinct phenomenon that deserves our attention. In particular I suggest: that we should be interested in collective self-knowledge, because our behaviour indicates that we already engage with collective self-knowledge in practice; that groups can collectively avow, which indicates that they have privileged and peculiar access to their own intentional states; and that collective self-knowledge is not reducible to intentional states of individuals and therefore is an independent explanandum.
Keywords Self-Knowledge  Introspection  Social Groups  Collective Intentionality  Collective Belief  Collective Epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00235-2
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Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

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