The Group Mind Hypothesis between Social ontology and Philosophy of Mind: Some Critical Notes

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Some recent theoretical analyses of collective behavior in social ontology, philosophy of mind and situated cognitive science have proposed arguments to revive the notion of group mind as the proper bearer of joint cognitive processes and actions. In this paper I analyse two kinds of arguments supporting this view: first, since group reasons in joint actions claim, at least sometimes, to have a priority over individual reasons, then groups are psychologically autonomous from their members. Second, the structure of the causal and functional dynamics of individual and collective cognition mirror each other in such a way that, by parity of reasoning, we must talk of a collective mind as underlying collective cognition in the same way that we talk of individual minds underlying individual behavior. I will argue that both the discontinuity and parity arguments fail to establish the conclusion of the existence of a group mind. In fact, while the phenomenon of the priority of group reasons can be explained within an individualistic framework, as I will argue by reference to John R. Searle’s social ontology, the parity arguments can succeed only if we accept the cost of a radical deflationary stance towards the identity and unity of mind.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospitePhilosophical Essays on Language, Ontology and Science
Numero di pagine27
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

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