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Most classical approaches to human psychology are individualistic: our thoughts take place privately, and our minds are housed internally in our bodies. Nevertheless it is quite clear that we take advantage of others to guide our thoughts - we hash out ideas in conversation, we defer to experts to make difficult decisions, and we learn from each others' experience. But how deeply does the group affect the thinking of the individual? Are concepts in some sense social, and acquired by individuals from groups? Do individuals merely take advantage of the knowledge of their communities, or are some thought processes actually constituted by the behavior of the group, forming a sort of collective mind? Are the opinions of groups irreducible to the opinions of their members?
The GroupTHINK workshop on social and collective cognition explores these questions with a selection of some leading thinkers in this newly growing area of research. The workshop launches a new MA program on 'Consciousness and Embodiment' in the School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, and it will be held in Newman House, Stephens Green, Dublin, on Friday June 22nd, 2012.
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