Empirical Arguments for Group Minds: A Critical Appraisal

Look out for Rob Rupert’s forthcoming survey for Philosophy Compass. (Thanks to Rob for the heads up).


This entry addresses the question of group minds, by focusing specifically on empirical arguments for group cognition and group cognitive states. Two kinds of positive argument are presented and critically evaluated: the argument from individually unintended effects and the argument from functional similarity. A general argument against group cognition – which appeals to Occam’s razor – is also discussed. In the end, much turns on the identification of a mark of the cognitive; proposed marks are briefly (and inconclusively) surveyed in the final section.