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Synthese

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 319–333 | Cite as

Collective Belief And Acceptance

  • K. Brad Wray
Article

Abstract

Margaret Gilbert explores the phenomenon referredto in everyday ascriptions ofbeliefs to groups. She refers to this type ofphenomenon as ``collective belief'' andcalls the types of groups that are the bearersof such beliefs ``plural subjects''. Iargue that the attitudes that groups adoptthat Gilbert refers to as ``collectivebeliefs'' are not a species of belief in animportant and central sense, but rathera species of acceptance. Unlike proper beliefs,a collective belief is adopted bya group as a means to realizing the group'sgoals. Unless we recognize that thisphenomenon is a species of acceptance, pluralsubjects will seem prone to changetheir ``beliefs'' for irrelevant reasons, andthus frequently appear to act in anirrational manner.

Keywords

Central Sense Collective Belief Plural Subject Proper Belief Irrelevant Reason 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Brad Wray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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