Original paper in the Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences

European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 89-118

First online:

Genuinely collective emotions

  • Bryce HuebnerAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Georgetown University Email author 

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It is received wisdom in philosophy and the cognitive sciences that individuals can be in emotional states but groups cannot. But why should we accept this view? In this paper, I argue that there is substantial philosophical and empirical support for the existence of collective emotions. Thus, while there is good reason to be skeptical about many ascriptions of collective emotion, I argue that some groups exhibit the computational complexity and informational integration required for being in genuinely emotional states.


Distributed cognition Emotion