Collective intentionality and the social sciences

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (1):25-50 (2002)
Authors
Deborah Tollefsen
University of Memphis
Abstract
In everyday discourse and in the context of social scientific research we often attribute intentional states to groups. Contemporary approaches to group intentionality have either dismissed these attributions as metaphorical or provided an analysis of our attributions in terms of the intentional states of individuals in the group.Insection1, the author argues that these approaches are problematic. In sections 2 and 3, the author defends the view that certain groups are literally intentional agents. In section 4, the author argues that there are significant reasons for social scientists and philosophers of social science to acknowledge the adequacy of macro-level explanations that involve the attribution of intentional states to groups. In section 5, the author considers and responds to some criticisms of the thesis she defends.
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DOI 10.1177/004839310203200102
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References found in this work BETA

Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
How To Share An Intention.J. David Velleman - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: A Quarterly Journal 57 (1):29-50.
Intentional Systems.Daniel C. Dennett - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Rational Animals.Donald Davidson - 1982 - Dialectica 36 (4):317-28.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plural Self-Awareness.Hans Bernhard Schmid - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):7-24.
Joint Actions and Group Agents.Philip Pettit & David Schweikard - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (1):18-39.
Let’s Pretend!: Children and Joint Action.Deborah Tollefsen - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):75-97.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

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Intentionalistic Explanations in the Social Sciences.John R. Searle - 1991 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (3):332-344.

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