Joint attention involves two (or more) subjects attending to
an event or object together, where the attention of each participant is to some degree dependent on the attention of the other. It is sometimes said that joint
attention is ‘wholly overt’ or ‘out in the open’ between the participants,
where this means that they are both fully aware that they are together
attending to the event or object (although so-called 'lean' accounts of joint attention, deny that this is a necessary condition for joint attention). A canonical example of joint attention would
be where two people are sitting opposite each other, discussing and observing
an object that lies between them. The phenomena can be contrasted with shared attention where two people are
each attending to an object, but are doing so separately, such that the attention
of each person is of no relevance to the other, and does not figure in their
Philosophical discussions of joint attention have tended to
focus on two questions: firstly, how the apparent epistemic and phenomenological
openness of joint attention can be explained without recourse to a complex
series of overlapping and embedded mental states. Secondly, how joint attention
can be understood as providing a normative and evidential basis for
communication and joint action. Within cognitive science, joint attention has been discussed with relation to the nature of autism, the Theory of Mind debate, the development of communicative intentions and the development of word-learning in infants.
There are three edited volumes that contain many of the key texts in this area - Moore & Dunham 1995Eilan et al 2005 and Seemann forthcoming. The first is predominantly written by psychologists, while the latter two include a mix of contributions by philosophers, neuroscientists and psychologists. Early discussions in philosophy relating to the topic of
joint attention can be found in Husserl 1964, Schutz 1970,Schiffer 1972 and Davidson 1992. Early discussions in the developmental psychology literature can be found
in Scaife and Bruner 1975 and Trevarthen 1979.
We clarify some points previously made by Andrews, and defend the claim that Davidson's account of belief can be and is challenged by the existence of some people with autism. We argue that both Bouma and Andrews (Philosophical Psychology, 15) blurred the subtle distinctions between the psychological concepts of theory of mind and joint attention and the Davidsonian concepts of interpretation and triangulation. And we accept that appeal to control group studies is not the appropriate place to look for an (...) individual who can speak but who has significant problems with interpretation. In this paper we argue that by turning to the clinical literature we can more readily find such a challenge to Davidson's account. (shrink)
This paper argues that Husserl’s account of adult recognition of another allows for immediate, noninferential, analogical access to the other, though onedoes not experience the other’s experience as s/he does. The passive-associative processes at work in adult recognition of another make possible infant syncretic sociability and play a role in constituting the infant’s self prior to reflection. The reflective perspective of the psychologist and philosopher discovers that such infant experiences, though at first seeming indistinguishable from their parents’ experience, belong to (...) their own stream of consciousness and constitute a non-eliminable Cartesian residue and an inescapable solitude of identity. Finally new research in joint attention reveals that the infant self is constituted not only by passive experience but also by active movements evident in the infant’s attempt to shape the direction of adults in joint attention, however this may fall short of high-level reflection. (shrink)
One of the chief aims of Donald Davidson's later work was to show that participation in a certain causal nexus involving two creatures and a shared environment–Davidson calls this nexus “triangulation”–is a metaphysically necessary condition for the acquisition of thought. This doctrine, I suggest, is aptly regarded as a form of what I call transcendental externalism. I extract two arguments for the transcendental-externalist doctrine from Davidson's writings, and argue that neither succeeds. A central interpretive claim is that the arguments are (...) primarily funded by a particular conception of the nature of non-human animal life. This conception turns out to be insupportable. The failure of Davidson's arguments presses the question of whether we could ever hope to arrive at far-reaching claims about the conditions for thought if we deny, as does Davidson, the legitimacy of the naturalistic project in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
We trace the difference between the ways in which apes and humans co–operate to differences in communicative abilities, claiming that the pressure for future–directed co–operation was a major force behind the evolution of language. Competitive co–operation concerns goals that are present in the environment and have stable values. It relies on either signalling or joint attention. Future–directed co–operation concerns new goals that lack fixed values. It requires symbolic communication and context–independent representations of means and goals. We analyse these ways of (...) co–operating in game–theoretic terms and submit that the co–operative strategy of games that involve shared representations of future goals may provide new equilibrium solutions. (shrink)
By describing the aim of triangulation as locating the object of thoughts and utterances, Davidson has given it the double role of accounting for both the individuation of content and the sense in which content necessarily is public. The focus of this article is on how triangulation may contribute to the individuation of content. I maintain that triangulation may serve to break into the intentional circle of meaning and belief, yet without forcing us to renounce the claims concerning the interdependence (...) of belief and meaning and the irreducibility of meaning. In the first two sections the concept of triangulation is introduced and examined. In the following section, I present a problem for triangulation that takes the form of a dilemma. Triangulation, as Davidson describes it, is either pre-cognitive or propositional. In neither case can it in a satisfactory way determine content. In section 4, I suggest that reconceiving triangulation in terms of joint attention will solve the problem. Joint attention is not a purely causal process, nor does it involve propositional thought. The next section presents an analysis of joint attention, and explains how joint attention may contribute to determine content by paving the way for language entry. Finally, an account is given of how subjects during the process of joint attention may express and understand communicative intentions without engaging in higher-order thought. (shrink)
If we distinguish phenomenal effects from their noumenal causes, the former being our conceptual(ized) experiences, the latter their grounds or causes in reality ‘as it is’ independent of our experience, then two contradictory positions with regards to the relationship between these two can be distinguished: either phenomena are identical with their noumenal causes, or they are not. Davidson is among the most influential modern defenders of the former position, metaphysical non-dualism. Dharmakīrti’s strict distinction between ultimate and conventional reality, on the (...) other hand, may be one of the most rigorously elaborated theories of the opposite position, metaphysical dualism. Despite this fundamental difference, their theories about the connection between phenomena and their noumenal causes are surprisingly similar in important respects. Both Dharmakīrti in his theory of ‘apoha’ and Davidson in his theory of ‘triangulation’ argued that the content of words or concepts depends on a process involving at least two communicating beings and shared noumenal stimuli. The main point of divergence is the nature of classification, but ultimately Dharmakīrti’s and Davidson’s conclusions on the noumenal-phenomenal relationship turn out to be complementary more than contradictory, and an integrative reconstruction suggests a ‘middle path’ between dualism and non-dualism. (shrink)
The struggle between the parties bent on inflating humanity's self-conception and those bent on deflating it continues. Mind, consciousness, soul, reason, free will, language, culture, tool-use—all have been invoked as the unique character of the human, some deriving from Judeo-Christian religion, others from classical philosophy and modern anthropology. Opponents, sometimes motivated by ethical concerns about the treatment of animals, and buoyed by scientific advances in animal and especially primate studies, have either deconstructed these traits or ascribed them to nonhumans. Seeking (...) to block human exploitation of nonhuman species, they argue that humans are not "exceptional" and possess no "cognitive module" .. (shrink)
Chimpanzees follow the gaze of conspecifics and humans — follow it past distractors and behind barriers, ‘check back’ with humans when gaze following does not yield interesting sights, use gestures appropriately depending on the visual access of their recipient, and select different pieces of food depending on whether their competitor has visual access to them. Taken together, these findings make a strong case for the hypothesis that chimpanzees have some understanding of what other individuals can and cannot see. However, chimpanzees (...) do not seem nearly so skillful in the Gesture Choice and Object Choice experimental paradigms. Neither behavioral conditioning nor theory of mind explanations can account for these results satisfactorily. Instead this chapter proposes the idea that chimpanzees have the cognitive skills to recall, represent, categorize, and reason about the behavior and perception of others, but not their intentional or mental states, because they do not know that others have such states since they cannot make a link to their own. Human beings began their own evolutionary trajectory with these same skills, but then at some point in their evolution (probably quite recently) they began to understand that their own experience could serve as some kind of model for that of other persons. This allowed for even better prediction and control of the behavior of others and better communication and cooperation with them as well, and so it was an adaptation with immediate adaptive consequences that ensured its survival. (shrink)
John Campbell investigates how consciousness of the world explains our ability to think about the world; how our ability to think about objects we can see depends on our capacity for conscious visual attention to those things. He illuminates classical problems about thought, reference, and experience by looking at the underlying psychological mechanisms on which conscious attention depends.
This chapter makes the case for a relational version of an experientialist view of joint attention. On an experientialist view of joint attention, shifting from solitary attention to joint attention involves a shift in the nature of your perceptual experience of the object attended to. A relational analysis of such a view explains the latter shift in terms of the idea that, in joint attention, it is a constituent of your experience that the other person is, with you, jointly attending (...) to the object. We need such an analysis of joint attention to explain the possibility of success in tasks such as coordinated attack. (shrink)
This paper contrasts individual and collective listening to music, with particular regard to the expressive qualities of music. In the first half of the paper a general model of joint attention is introduced. According to this model, perceiving together modifies the intrinsic structure of the perceptual task, and encourages a convergence of responses to a greater or lesser degree. The model is then applied to music, looking first at the silent listening situation typical to the classical concert hall, and second (...) the noisy listening situation typical to rock or jazz concerts. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Articulate and perceptive, Intersubjectivity is a text that explains the notions of intersubjectivity as a central concern of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and politics. Going beyond this broad-ranging introduction and explication, author Nick Crossley provides a critical discussion of intersubjectivity as an interdisciplinary concept to shed light on our understanding of selfhood, communication, citizenship, power, and community. The volume traces the contributions of key thinkers engaged within the intersubjectivist tradition, including Husserl, Buber, Kojeve, Merlau-Ponty, Mead, Wittgenstein, Schutz, and Habermas. A clear, (...) concise introduction to a range of difficult concepts and thinkers, Intersubjectivity demystifies this very interdisciplinary subject for advanced and graduate-level students of philosophy, sociology, social psychology, and social and political theory. (shrink)
This is the long-awaited third volume of philosophical writings by Davidson, whose influence on philosophy since the 1960s has been deep and broad. His first two collections, published by Oxford in the early 1980s, are recognized as contemporary classics. His ideas have continued to flow; now, in this new work, he presents a selection of his best work on knowledge, mind, and language from the last two decades. It is a rich and rewarding feast for anyone interested in philosophy, and (...) essential reading for anyone working on these topics. (shrink)
This paper comments on Gallagher’s recently published direct perception proposal about social cognition [Gallagher, S. (2008a). Direct perception in the intersubjective context. Consciousness and Cognition, 17(2), 535–543]. I show that direct perception is in danger of being appropriated by the very cognitivist accounts criticised by Gallagher (theory theory and simulation theory). Then I argue that the experiential directness of perception in social situations can be understood only in the context of the role of the interaction process in social cognition. I (...) elaborate on the role of social interaction with a discussion of participatory sense-making to show that direct perception, rather than being a perception enriched by mainly individual capacities, can be best understood as an interactional phenomenon. (shrink)
An important shift is taking place in social cognition research, away from a focus on the individual mind and toward embodied and participatory aspects of social understanding. Empirical results already imply that social cognition is not reducible to the workings of individual cognitive mechanisms. To galvanize this interactive turn, we provide an operational definition of social interaction and distinguish the different explanatory roles – contextual, enabling and constitutive – it can play in social cognition. We show that interactive processes are (...) more than a context for social cognition: they can complement and even replace individual mechanisms. This new explanatory power of social interaction can push the field forward by expanding the possibilities of scientific explanation beyond the individual. (shrink)
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) describe a mechanism by which the situation models of dialog participants become progressively aligned via priming at different levels. This commentary attempts to characterize how alignment and routinization can be extended into the language acquisition domain by establishing links between alignment and joint attention, and between routinization and grammatical construction learning.
This chapter argues that a central division among accounts of joint attention, both in philosophy and developmental psychology, turns on how they address two questions: What, if any, is the connection between the capacity to engage in joint attention triangles and the capacity to grasp the idea of objective truth? How do we explain the kind of openness or sharing of minds that occurs in joint attention? The chapter explores the connections between answers to both questions, and argues that theories (...) can be divided into two distinct types according to how these connections are developed. (shrink)
Sometime around their first birthday most infants begin to engage in relatively sustained bouts of attending together with their caretakers to objects in their environment. By the age of 18 months, on most accounts, they are engaging in full-blown episodes of joint attention. As developmental psychologists (usually) use the term, for such joint attention to be in play, it is not sufficient that the infant and the adult are in fact attending to the same object, nor that the one’s attention (...) cause the other’s. The latter can and does happen much earlier, whenever the adult follows the baby’s gaze and homes in on the same object as the baby is attending to; or, from the age of six months, when babies begin to follow the gaze of an adult. We have the relevant sense of joint attention in play only when the fact that both child and adult are attending to the same object is, to use Sperber and Wilson’s (1986) phrase, ‘mutually manifest’. Psychologists sometimes speak of such jointness as a case of attention being ‘shared’ by infant and adult, or of a ‘meeting of minds’ between infant and adult, all phrases intended to capture the idea that when joint attention occurs everything about the fact that both subjects are attending to the same object is out in the open, manifest to both participants. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the role of intention and joint attention in joint actions. Depending on the shared intentions the agents have, we distinguish between joint path-goal actions and joint final-goal actions. We propose an instrumental account of basic joint action analogous to a concept of basic action and argue that intentional joint attention is a basic joint action. Furthermore, we discuss the functional role of intentional joint attention for successful cooperation in complex joint actions. Anika Fiebich is PhD (...) student in Philosophy at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. Shaun Gallagher is Lilian and Morrie Moss Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis, USA. (shrink)
Current theories of social cognition are mainly based on a representationalist view. Moreover, they focus on a rather sophisticated and limited aspect of understanding others, i.e. on how we predict and explain others’ behaviours through representing their mental states. Research into the ‘social brain’ has also favoured a third-person paradigm of social cognition as a passive observation of others’ behaviour, attributing it to an inferential, simulative or projective process in the individual brain. In this paper, we present a concept of (...) social understanding as an ongoing, dynamical process of participatory sense-making and mutual incorporation. This process may be described (1) from a dynamical agentive systems point of view as an interaction and coordination of two embodied agents; (2) from a phenomenological approach as a mutual incorporation, i.e. a process in which the lived bodies of both participants extend and form a common intercorporality. Intersubjectivity, it is argued, is not a solitary task of deciphering or simulating the movements of others but means entering a process of embodied interaction and generating common meaning through it. This approach will be further illustrated by an analysis of primary dyadic interaction in early childhood. (shrink)
Sharing a public language facilitates particularly efficient forms of joint perception and action by giving interlocutors refined tools for directing attention and aligning conceptual models and action. We hypothesized that interlocutors who flexibly align their linguistic practices and converge on a shared language will improve their cooperative performance on joint tasks. To test this prediction, we employed a novel experimental design, in which pairs of participants cooperated linguistically to solve a perceptual task. We found that dyad members generally showed a (...) high propensity to adapt to each other’s linguistic practices. However, although general linguistic alignment did not have a positive effect on performance, the alignment of particular task-relevant vocabularies strongly correlated with collective performance. In other words, the more dyad members selectively aligned linguistic tools fit for the task, the better they performed. Our work thus uncovers the interplay between social dynamics and sensitivity to task affordances in successful cooperation. (shrink)
The embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended approaches to cognition explicate many important details for a phenomenology of perception, and are consistent with some of the traditional phenomenological analyses. Theorists working in these areas, however, often fail to provide an account of how intersubjectivity might relate to perception. This paper suggests some ways in which intersubjectivity is important for an adequate account of perception.
According to many philosophers and scientists, human sociality is explained by our unique capacity to “share” attitudes with others. The conditions under which mental states are shared have been widely debated in the past two decades, focusing especially on the issue of their reducibility to individual intentionality and the place of collective intentions in the natural realm. It is not clear, however, to what extent these two issues are related and what methodologies of investigation are appropriate in each case. In (...) this article, I propose a solution that distinguishes between epistemic and ontological interpretations of the demand for the conditions of reduction of collective intentionality. While the philosophical debate has contributed important insights into the former, recent advances in the cognitive sciences offer novel resources to tackle the latter. Drawing on Michael Tomasello’s research in the ontogeny of shared intentionality in early instances of interaction based on joint attention, I propose an empirically informed argument of what it would take to address the ontological question of irreducibility, thus making a step forward in the naturalization of collective intentionality. (shrink)
This paper reports a longitudinal study on the ontogeny of triadic cooperative interactions (involving coordinations of objects and people) in a hand-reared lowland gorilla ( Gorilla gorilla gorilla ) from 6 months to 36 months of age. Using the behavioural categories developed by Hubley and Trevarthen (1979) to characterize the origins of “secondary intersubjectivity” in human babies between 8-12 months of age, I chart the emergence of comparable coordinations of gestures and actions with objects and acts of dyadic communication. The (...) findings show that the categories and concepts of secondary intersubjectivity are applicable to the gorilla, who engages with people in cooperative actions with objects. The ontogeny of triadic interaction in the gorilla was very similar to that described in human infants, but more extended in time and with some peculiarities, such as the absence of pointing and showing gestures, some of whose functions might be taken over by contact gestures which in human infants may appear later in development. The results do not support claims of human uniqueness in the development of cooperative action, but suggest a heterochrony in some aspects of the ontogeny of triadic interactions leading to a divergence between gorilla and human infants within secondary intersubjectivity. (shrink)
This chapter proposes that the cognitive mechanisms of joint attention (defined as a combination of attention following skills with attention contact skills) are not metarepresentational in nature, but based upon the coordination of two different types of intentional understanding — third-person and second-person intentions — that are represented at the level of a sensorimotor notion of others as subjects. This proposal is developed and analyzed from a comparative perspective through a review of findings concerning apes, typically developing children, and children (...) with autism. It is argued that each of these populations illustrates a different type of joint attention system based upon different notions of the other as a subject. (shrink)
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
I present experimental and computational research, inspired by the perspective of Embodied Embedded Cognition, concerning various aspects of language as supporting Everett's interactionist view of language. Based on earlier and ongoing work, I briefly illustrate the contribution of the environment to the systematicity displayed in linguistic performance, the importance of joint attention for the development of a shared vocabulary, the role of (limited) traveling for language diversification, the function of perspective taking in social communication, and the bodily nature of understanding (...) of meaning. (shrink)
It is plausible to think, as many developmental psychologists do, that joint attention is important in the development of getting a full grasp on psychological notions. This chapter argues that this role of joint attention is best understood in the context of the simulation theory about the nature of psychological understanding rather than in the context of the theory. Episodes of joint attention can then be seen not as good occasions for learning a theory of mind but rather as good (...) occasions for developing skills of expressing and sharing thoughts. This approach suggests seeing language acquisition as learning how to focus and fine-tune joint attention already present in the normal basic relation of carer and infant. Philosophers in thinking about other minds have concentrated too much on the contrast of first and third person, I vs he/she, and forgotten the centrality of the contrast of first and second person, I vs you, and the related centrality of we. (shrink)
This chapter argues that joint attention needs to be understood in terms of one person's engagement with another person's engagement with the world. It is pivotal from a developmental perspective that we have an appropriate view of what is involved when we share experiences, or when we perceive and align with another person's ‘attention’ as a bodily-expressed and affectively toned relation with the environment. The chapter explores these theoretical issues through studies involving children with autism, who have limited ability to (...) engage with others emotionally. It concludes that intersubjective engagement, and more specifically the propensity to identify with the attitudes of others, is critical for the early development of joint attention. (shrink)
We identify a particular type of causal reasoning ability that we believe is required for the possession of episodic memories, as it is needed to give substance to the distinction between the past and the present. We also argue that the same causal reasoning ability is required for grasping the point that another person's appeal to particular past events can have in conversation. We connect this to claims in developmental psychology that participation in joint reminiscing plays a key role in (...) memory development. (shrink)
The core claim of this paper is that mind minding of the sort required for the simplest and most pervasive forms of joint attentional activity is best understood and explained in non-representational, enactivist terms. In what follows I will attempt to convince the reader of its truth in three steps. The first step, section two, clarifies the target explanandum. The second step, section three, is wholly descriptive. It highlights the core features of a Radically Enactivist proposal about elementary mind minding, (...) revealing it to be at least a possible explanans. The final step is to consider the comparative virtues of the contending proposals; section four. The exercise is to decide which of the possible explanations is best. Various evidential appeals and theoretical considerations that might aid us in this choice are reviewed. The conclusion is that the scales would be tipped in favour of the Radical Enactivist option, decisively, if it should turn out that there is (1) no reason to believe that basic forms of mentality are representational (in a semantically contentful way) and (2) if no good theory is likely to explain how they could be so. It is concluded that all that we need for understanding basic forms of intentional (with a ‘t’) mentality and what it takes to attend to basic cases of mind minding. (shrink)
The current paper argues for synchronising spatial frames of reference for achieving effective multiparty communication in collaborative virtual environments. Synchronising nonverbal behaviour from different modalities is an important step for simulating face-to-face-interaction where all nonverbal cues are available. Such synchronisation also serves as an effective basis for building multimodal interfaces especially if these have to be deployed for multiparty communication. It is argued that common spatial reference frames are helpful in coordinating different points of attention and facilitating work by serving (...) as the springboard for joint attention among members of the team. Consequently, it is desirable to aim for such common grounds and not just focus on coordinating disjointed virtual spaces for facilitating decision-making by reducing felt collaborative effort. Implementing the synchronisation of spatial reference frames for modern technologies thus serves dual purposes by achieving common grounds in communication and maintaining autonomy of each member at the same time. Towards this end, the current paper proposes the concept of decentred egocentric frame, the origin of which is one’s own body and the spatial relation between two objects is defined with respect to this origin. This frame seems to be important for separating each member’s focus from his own body (self/activities) and also helps in coordinating one’s focus with those of the others whether interacting verbally or nonverbally. This is an important conceptual development as the proposed classification is hypothesised to function in a similar manner across different sensory modalities. The paper concludes with issues on implementation and other future conceptual developments. (shrink)
This paper is an exploration of how we do things with music—that is, the way that we use music as an esthetic technology to enact micro-practices of emotion regulation, communicative expression, identity construction, and interpersonal coordination that drive core aspects of our emotional and social existence. The main thesis is: from birth, music is directly perceived as an affordance-laden structure. Music, I argue, affords a sonic world, an exploratory space or nested acoustic environment that further affords possibilities for, among other (...) things, (1) emotion regulation and (2) social coordination. When we do things with music, we are engaged in the work of creating and cultivating the self, as well as creating and cultivating a shared world that we inhabit with others. I develop this thesis by first introducing the notion of a musical affordance . Next, I look at how emotional affordances in music are exploited to construct and regulate emotions. I summon empirical research on neonate music therapy to argue that this is something we emerge from the womb knowing how to do. I then look at social affordances in music, arguing that joint attention to social affordances in music alters how music is both perceived and appropriated by joint attenders within social listening contexts. In support, I describe the experience of listening to and engaging with music in a live concert setting. Thinking of music as an affordance-laden structure thus reaffirms the crucial role that music plays in constructing and regulating emotional and social experiences in everyday life. (shrink)
Corballis suggests that apes lack voluntary control over their vocal production. However, recent evidence implicates voluntary control of vocalizations in apes, which suggests that intentional control of vocal communication predates the hominid-pongid split. Furthermore, the ease with which apes in captivity manipulate the visual attention of observers implies a common cognitive basis for joint attention in humans and apes.
This paper explores some connections between the philosophically central topic of intersubjectivity highlighted in John Ziman's article and the notion of collective consciousness, which has received very little formal attention in mainstream philosophy. The deconstruction of the Cartesian model of isolated spheres of consciousness which the intersubjective viewpoint brings about is supported by considerations from Kant's critical account of transcendental psychology. The phenomenon of empathy, an essential component in the achievement of intersubjective consensus, is related to the possibility of shared (...) experiences, i.e. of two or more individuals participating in the same conscious experience. The use of mental concept-words applied to collectives of persons is interpreted as more than a mere metaphor; this interpretation is supported by comparison with complex collective behaviours in other social species. It is necessary to say that this paper very much represents work in progress-- other commitments have prevented the author from supporting many of the points made with references or further analysis at this stage, and it is hoped merely that this exploratory essay will provide useful ideas for further research. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine W. V.Quine's theory of infants' early acquisition oflanguage, with a narrow focus on Quine's theory ofobservation sentences. Intersubjectivity and sensoryexperiences, the two features that characterise thenotion, receive the most attention. It is argued,following a suggestion from Donald Davidson, thatQuine favours a proximal theory of languageacquisition, i.e., a theory which is focused onprivate experiences as ultimate sources ofstimulation, contrary to a distal theory, where thestimulus source is located in externally observableobjects and events. (...) I use the philosophical criticismof Donald Davidson, Dagfinn Føllesdal and CharlesTaylor to suggest an alternative account of languageacquisition, which emphasises the primacy ofparticipation and joint attention to external stimuli.I argue that such an alternative theory is moreconsistent with recent studies in child developmentand language acquisition. (shrink)
This chapter aims at investigating the phenomenology of joint action and at gaining a better understanding of (1) how the sense of agency one experiences when engaged in a joint action differs from the sense of agency one has for individual actions and (2) how the sense of agency one experiences when engaged in a joint action differs according to the type of joint action and to the role one plays in it.