Collective Mental State and Individual Agency: Qualitative Factors in Social Science Explanation
Keywords:collective mental state, collective consciousness, contagion, individual agency, responsibility
AbstractRecent violent events such as attacks on civilian targets and political assassinations in countries not usually susceptible to these have created a need to revive interest in the ancient concept of collective consciousness. In this article, the concept in its current reformulation as collective mental state, and the attempts of individual agents to control, shift and otherwise manage it, are examined. It is concluded that allowance for the unmeasurable and unpredictable qualitative factors of the collective mental state and the effect upon it of individual agency is essential in social science explanations. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs020317
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Copyright (c) 2002 William W. Bostock
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