At 01:46 PM 1/20/99 EST, T.0. Morrow wrote:
>The issue with regard to collective entities made up of humans is not whether
>they exist in some sense. The question is whether they have sufficient
>coherence to entertain cognitive states. Perhaps it makes sense to say of
>some small and purely voluntaristic organizations, such as partnerships or
>clubs, that they think, believe, and act (though I think even that usage goes
>too far). But whole societies fail utterly to behave like individuals.
IAN: The initial point was that a collective is not an entity as in a "thing," if it's a matter of it being a conscious being, that ventures into the deep. Life per se tends to display consciousness if we correlate consciousness with learning. The process of evolution is a learning process, but exactly who is learning seems to me to be the same question "exactly who am I?"
In short, assuming that the mind houses a spirit is the same as assuming a group houses a spirit, and yet assuming that a mind houses a spirit proves very practical.