Do Group Minds Exist?
Mark Sprevak (University of Edinburgh)

October 18, 2013, 6:45pm - 8:15pm
Royal Institute of Philosophy

Dr. Williams's Library
14 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0AR
United Kingdom

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The Institute's free lecture series on mind, self and person starts this Friday, with a talk by Mark Sprevak called 'Do Group Minds Exist?'. 

Abstract: Do groups of agents (corporations, institutions, commercial organisations) have minds over and above the minds of the individual people involved? Can an organisation such as Microsoft truly be said to form a belief, a desire, an intention, can it regret a past decision, or be riled to anger? One influential argument against group minds is that they would violate Occam’s razor: one can explain the behaviour of the company just as well without the excess of positing a group mind. I argue that this simplicity-based criticism of group minds is misplaced. Any argument based on simplicity would also eliminate our own individual minds.

The next talk will be given by Paul Snowdon on 25 October.  His lecture is called 'The Things that are Selves'.

Coming in November:  Eric Olson, Lucy O'Brien, Rory Madden, Patricia Churchland and Galen Strawson.

There are abstracts and more details of the entire series here: 

All talks start at 5.45 in the lecture hall, Dr. Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR (nearest tubes Euston and Euston Square). Places are limited, so arrive early to be sure of a seat.  These talks are free and open to everyone.  Refreshments will be available.

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