Joint Agency: Intersubjectivity, Sense of Control, and the Feeling of Trust

Inquiry 52 (5):500-515 (2009)
In this paper, I am going to be concerned with the capacity of human beings to act jointly. In particular, I will focus on the phenomenal aspect of collective action. I shall suggest that the experience of being jointly engaged with another is complex: it comprises both a practical grasp of oneself and of the other person as single agents participating in the joint pursuit, and an experience of collective immersion in the activity, which includes a sense of joint control. This suggestion gives rise to a number of puzzles: firstly, what is the relation between jointly engaged agents’ awareness of self and other and their sense of a joint engagement? Secondly, how are we to substantiate the idea of a sense of joint control if it is also obviously true that I don’t, however close our psychological and bodily attunements, have control over your doings? I shall argue that a satisfactory solution to these puzzles is possible only if we take seriously the notion of a perceptually constituted “intersubjective perspective” that is shared by the participants in joint activities and gives rise to an attitude of mutual trust
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Olle Blomberg (2011). Socially Extended Intentions-in-Action. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):335-353.
Axel Seemann (2009). Why We Did It: An Anscombian Account of Collective Action. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (5):637-655.
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