Collective intelligence and social ontology. Bridging the divide between human and animal collective cognition through stigmergy and Peircean semiotics

Francesco Consiglio
Universidad de Granada, Spain | consiglio@ugr.es

Received: 10-October-2019 | Accepted: 21-December-2019 | Published: 29-December-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 8, No. 11, pp. 531–547 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3594571
Article | [SP] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 8 No. 11

How to cite this article:
Consiglio, Francesco (2019). «Collective intelligence and social ontology. Bridging the divide between human and animal collective cognition through stigmergy and Peircean semiotics». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 8, no. 11: pp. 531–547.


Abstract | My aim is to underline a few limits of an intentionalist approach to cognitive interaction and social ontology, typical of classic cognitive science and social theory. In particular, I shall try to offer a good alternative to the concept of collective intentionality to account for the socio-cognitive interactions taking place in a group of agents, focusing with particular attention on the concepts of cooperation and competition.
I claim that collective intelligence phenomena can be explained by means of structures of emergent rules, ‘byproduct’ of the behaviour of agents who pursue their individual and more limited objectives: it is not necessary to establish in advance all the rules of the game to get the development of cooperation or competition dynamics in a group. A stigmergy based approach permits to bypass the difficulty of a conscious planning of rules and the intentionality postulate it entails.
Keywords |
Collective Intentionality · Group Intelligence · Stigmergy · Peirce · Semiotics.

Inteligencia colectiva y ontología social. Reducir la brecha entre la cognición colectiva humana y animal a través de la estigmergia y la semiótica peirciana

Resumen | Mi objetivo es el de evidenciar algunos límites de un enfoque intencionalista a la interacción cognitiva y a la ontología social, típicos de las ciencias cognitivas clásicas y de la teoría social. En particular, trataré de ofrecer una buena alternativa al concepto de intencionalidad colectiva para dar cuenta de las interacciones socio-cognitivas que se producen en un grupo de agentes, con un foco particular sobre los conceptos de cooperación y competición.
Defiendo que el fenómeno de la inteligencia colectiva puede explicarse por medio de estructuras de reglas emergentes, productos ‘colaterales’ de la conducta de agentes que persiguen sus objetivos individuales y limitados: no es necesario establecer con antelación todas las reglas del juego para obtener el desarrollo de unas dinámicas de cooperación o competición en un grupo. Un enfoque basado en la estigmergia permite soslayar la dificultad de la planificación consciente de las reglas y el postulado de la intencionalidad que ella implica.
Palabras clave | Intencionalidad colectiva · Inteligencia de grupo · Estigmergia · Peirce · Semiótica.


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