Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes

23 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2014

Date Written: April 6, 2014


This paper offers a comparison of three different kinds of collective attitudes (such as collective preferences and collective beliefs): aggregate, common, and corporate ones. They differ not only in their relationship to individual attitudes – e.g., whether they are "reducible" to individual attitudes – but also in the roles they play in relation to the collectives to which they are ascribed. The failure to distinguish them can lead to confusion, in informal talk as well as in the social sciences. So, the paper’s message is an appeal for disambiguation.

Keywords: Collective intentionality, aggregate, common, and corporate attitudes, collective beliefs and preferences, common knowledge, coordination, group agency

JEL Classification: D71

Suggested Citation

List, Christian, Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes (April 6, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Christian List (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

United Kingdom

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