Adapted by the rationalists from an older esoteric term for a spirit made of a group's thoughts, an egregore is a collective (of persons) that seems to act like a being in its own right, like "America" or "Microsoft", although one need not be legally recognized to qualify. They often don't act in the best interest of individual persons, including their own members, analogous to predators or parasites.

It's unclear to what extent these entities can be called "minds" (or "conscious"), but your own mind is also made up of a collective (of neurons). "In truth, there are only atoms and the void," and yet we give names to higher-order structures, like individuals or countries.

See also: memetics, reductionism, eldrich analogies, moral mazes....

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Posts tagged Egregores