David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Repko Allen, Szostak Rick & Newell William (eds.), Interdisciplinary Research: Case Studies of Integrative Understandings of Complex Problems. Sage (2011)
Humans are capable of understanding an incredible variety of actions performed by other humans. Even though these range from primary biological actions, like eating and fleeing, to acts in parliament or in poetry, humans generally can make sense of each other’s actions. Understanding other people’s actions is called action understanding, and it can transcend differences in race, gender, culture, age, and social and historical circumstances. Action understanding is the cognitive ability to make sense of another person’s action by integrating perceptual information about the behavior with knowledge about the immediate and sociocultural contexts of the action and with one’s own experience. Scholars are increasingly dissatisfied with monodisciplinary approaches to understanding human action. Such one-sidedness can rest upon various motives. For example, “hermeneutic interpretations” of action understanding tend to emphasize historical and cultural influences while overlooking that ultimately such influences depend upon individual cognitive processes. This has provoked criticism of the corresponding assumption that humans are born as a “blank slate” and that culture is solely responsible for all cognitive contents. However, such critique in turn easily slides into an overemphasis on the biology of human nature and a denial of sociocultural influences on cognition (Pinker, 2003). Fortunately, recent interdisciplinary endeavors have shown that an interdisciplinary approach is preferable when investigating complex functions like action understanding. The purpose of this chapter is to propose a “mechanism-based explanation” of action understanding that will provide a theoretical framework for integrating various and often conflicting disciplinary insights.
|Keywords||cognitive neuroscience philosophy explanation hermeneutics action understanding interdisciplinary research mechanistic explanation research process|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Machiel keestra (2008). The Diverging Force of Imitation: Integrating Cognitive Science and Hermeneutics. Review of General Psychology 12 (2):127-136.
Machiel Keestra (2008). The Diverging Force of Imitation. Integrating Cognitive Science and Hermeneutics. Review of General Psychology 12 (2):127-136.
Jakub Čapek (2008). Explanation and Understanding: Action as “Historical Structure”. Philosophia 36 (4):453-463.
Constantine Sandis (2012). The Objects of Action Explanation. Ratio 25 (3):326-344.
Wolfgang Prinz & Bernhard Hommel (eds.) (2002). Common Mechanisms in Perception and Action: Attention and Performance Volume Xix. OUP Oxford.
Dirk S. Hovorka & Allen S. Lee, Reframing Interpretivism and Positivism as Understanding and Explanation: Consequences for Information Systems Research.
J. D. Trout (2002). Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
Annemiek D. Barsingerhorn, Frank T. J. M. Zaal, Joanne Smith & Gert-Jan Pepping (2012). On Possibilities for Action: The Past, Present and Future of Affordance Research. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (2):54-69.
Jing Zhu & Paul Thagard (2002). Emotion and Action. Philosophical Psychology 15 (1):19 – 36.
Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier
Pamela Hieronymi (2011). Reasons for Action. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):407-427.
Deborah Tollefsen & Rick Dale (2011). Naturalizing Joint Action: A Process-Based Approach. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):385-407.
Alfred R. Mele (2005). Action. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press 78-88.
Gurpreet Mahajan (1997). Explanation and Understanding in the Human Sciences. Oxford University Press.
Scott Berman (2003). A Defense of Psychological Egoism. In Naomi Reshotko (ed.), Desire, Identity and Existence. Academic Printing and Publishing
Added to index2011-02-19
Total downloads69 ( #58,587 of 1,790,186 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #44,484 of 1,790,186 )
How can I increase my downloads?