Synthese 195 (9):4169-4200 (2018)

Authors
Paul Smart
University of Southampton
Abstract
Mandevillian intelligence is a specific form of collective intelligence in which individual cognitive vices are seen to play a positive functional role in yielding collective forms of cognitive success. The present paper introduces the concept of mandevillian intelligence and reviews a number of strands of empirical research that help to shed light on the phenomenon. The paper also attempts to highlight the value of the concept of mandevillian intelligence from a philosophical, scientific and engineering perspective. Inasmuch as we accept the notion of mandevillian intelligence, then it seems that the cognitive and epistemic value of a specific social or technological intervention will vary according to whether our attention is focused at the individual or collective level of analysis. This has a number of important implications for how we think about the design and evaluation of collective cognitive systems. For example, the notion of mandevillian intelligence forces us to take seriously the idea that the exploitation of individual cognitive shortcomings could, in some situations, provide a productive route to collective forms of cognitive and epistemic success.
Keywords Collective Cognition  Collective Intelligence  Social Simulation  Social Epistemology  Cognitive Technology  Virtue Epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1414-z
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References found in this work BETA

Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Illegitimate Values, Confirmation Bias, and Mandevillian Cognition in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1061-1081.
What Is the Function of Confirmation Bias?Uwe Peters - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1351-1376.
Collective (Telic) Virtue Epistemology.J. Adam Carter - 2020 - In Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. London: Routledge.

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