Co‐Subjective Consciousness Constitutes Collectives

Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (1):137-160 (2018)
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In this paper I want to introduce and defend what I call the "subject mode account" of collective intentionality. I propose to understand collectives from joint attention dyads over small informal groups of various types to organizations, institutions and political entities such as nation states, in terms of their self-awareness. On the subject mode account, the self-consciousness of such collectives is constitutive for their being. More precisely, their self-representation as subjects of joint theoretical and practical positions towards the world – rather than as objects of such positions – makes them what they are. Members of such collectives represent each other as co-subjects of such positions and thus represent the world from the point of view of the collective.

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Michael Schmitz
University of Vienna


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