Hegel's world spirit is usually described as way of philosophizing about history, more so than an actual mind. Yet when describing the world spirit, he ascribes intentionality and agency to it, blurring the lines between metaphorical mind and ontologically real mind.

Now take the bundle theory of self, subscribed to by Hume, William James, and others, and which says that there is no independent "I" or self, but merely a bundle of interlinked perceptions and memories, which through their continuity in time, give the illusion of there being a central ego.

If the bundle theory is correct, then Hegel's world spirit is a real full-fledged mind embodied in human society, and not just a useful metaphor for philosophizing about history.

  • If the world spirit isn't a mind by the bundle theorists measure, what is missing for it to become one?

  • Has anyone of note subscribed to this view (the world spirit is a real mind, not just a metaphor)? Are there any "Hegelian bundle theorists"?

  • This is similar to Is Humanity as a Whole a Philosophical Zombie? philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/29016/… Husserl thought communities to be "multiheaded subjectivities" and "personalities" even without the bundle theory since some activities can be interpreted as communal "I".
    – Conifold
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 18:53
  • @Conifold is is very close to the P-Zombie question, I think that my take is that the combination of Bundle and Hegel makes it not just possible but inevitable, as in "If it is not the case, then bundle theory must be be wrong". Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 19:18
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    +1:Tagore often refers to the Indian or European mind; and I don't think he was speaking metaphorically; he'd take it to be a different stage or state of the universal. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 22:48


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