ABSTRACT

This article applies Deleuze's metaphysics of multiplicities to groups of people, arguing that organized groups can be said to have mental states in the same sense as individuals. I begin by outlining the genealogy of Deleuze's use of the concept of multiplicity, beginning with Riemann and continuing through Bergson. Deleuze's transformation of these two thinkers' ideas results in a concept of any individual as a conjunction of two types of multiplicity, one relating to its material parts and one relating to its ideal or virtual parts. I then turn to Deleuze's theory of the mental faculties and argue that it describes a virtual multiplicity that, for Deleuze, is instantiated in human beings and other entities that can be said to think or have minds. I argue that many organized social groups have these mental faculties in the same way that individual people do and that therefore they can be said to have minds and mental states of their own, independent of the mental states of their members.

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