Durkheim, Sellars, and the Origins of Collective Intentionality

  • Peter Olen, Stephen Turner
  • British Journal for the History of Philosophy, May 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/09608788.2015.1039483

The sources of the concept of collective intentionality in Durkheim and the path to the present

What is it about?

This paper explains how Sellars appropriated and revised Durkheim's concept of the collective conscience in order to define his own notion of collective intentionality in behaviorist and semantic terms.

Why is it important?

Many of the issues that arise with Durkheim about group minds persist in the current collective intentionality literature, but are obscured by its ahistorical style of argumentation.


Professor Stephen P Turner
Stephen Turner

If you think there is something to the concept of collective intentionality, you need to understand why it has been problematic for many decades, and why it has been rejected outside of philosophy, This is a place to start, but the story is a much longer one.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Stephen P Turner