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MacrocognitionA Theory of Distributed Minds and Collective Intentionality$
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Bryce Huebner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926275

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926275.001.0001

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The Explanatory Superfluity of Collective Mentality, Part I

The Explanatory Superfluity of Collective Mentality, Part I

(p.126) 6 The Explanatory Superfluity of Collective Mentality, Part I

Bryce Huebner

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops and begins to address the worry that it will always be explanatorily superfluous to posit collective mentality. Individual mental states and rules for their aggregation often explain collective behaviour. Two sophisticated forms of individualism are developed to explain why most appeals to collective mentality are explanatorily superfluous. However, it is argued that the representational architecture of some collectivities is similar to the representational architecture of an individual mind, and that this fact can be used to defuse the objection from explanatory superfluity.

Keywords:   Methodological individualism, Social manifestation hypothesis, Collective intentionality, Mental representation

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