According to a widely accepted constraint on the content of intentions, here called the exclusivity constraint, one cannot intend to perform another agent’s action, even if one might be able to intend that she performs it. For example, while one can intend that one’s guest leaves before midnight, one cannot intend to perform her act of leaving. However, Deborah Tollefsen’s (2005) account of joint activity requires participants to have intentions-in-action (in John Searle’s (1983) sense) that violate this constraint. I argue (...) that the exclusivity constraint should not be accepted as an unconditional constraint on the contents of intentions-in-action: one may intend to perform a basic action that belongs both to oneself and to another agent. Based on the phenomenology of tool use, I first argue that intentions-in-action of one’s basic actions may be technologically extended, meaning that their contents are not restricted to concern the agent’s bodily movements. In analogy with this, I then argue that the phenomenology of some skillful joint activities supports the idea that one’s basic intentions-in-action may be socially extended, in violation of the widely accepted exclusivity constraint. Tollefsen’s account is specifically constructed to account for the joint activities of infants and toddlers who lack the capacity to think of others as planning agents and grasp their plan-like intentions (a capacity required by Michael Bratman’s (1992, 1993, 2009a, b) influential account of joint activity). At the end of the paper, I raise some doubts regarding the extent to which infants and toddlers have socially extended intentions-in-action. (shrink)
Critics argue that non-cognitivism cannot adequately account for the existence and nature of some thick moral concepts. They use the existence of thick concepts as a lever in an argument against non-cognitivism, here called the Thick Concept Argument (TCA). While TCA is frequently invoked, it is unfortunately rarely articulated. In this paper, TCA is first reconstructed on the basis of John McDowell’s formulation of the argument (from 1981), and then evaluated in the light of several possible non-cognitivist responses. In general, (...) TCA assumes too much about what a non-cognitivist is (or must be) committed to. There are several non-cognitivist theories, and only some fit the view attacked by TCA. Furthermore, TCA rests on a contestable intuition about a thought experiment, here called the External Standpoint Experiment (ESE). It is concluded that TCA is remarkably weak, given how frequently the argument is invoked. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with why many philosophers have thought that common knowledge of each other's intentions, goals, commitments etc is a constitutive condition on two or more agents being engaged in a genuine joint activity. I suggest that it isn't a necessary condition: There is at least one other form of "openness" that may play the role of common knowledge when it comes to agents who lack the concept of belief.
In the theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner proposes a scientific justification for a more pluralistic pedagogy, while denying that science can determine educational goals. Wearing an educator's hat, however, he favors a pathway in which students come 'to understand the most fundamental questions of existence … familiarly, the true, the beautiful, and the good.' Yet Gardner claims to exclude the realm of values from an intrinsic role in any of the intelligences; furthermore, the intelligences have no role to play (...) in respect to values. The best we can hope is that some people are able to yoke these 'scientifically and epistemologically separate' realms together. This dichotomy is detrimental to Gardner's educational goals. An integral conception, acknowledging both that normativity is essential for the operation of intelligence and that pursuit of values is itself an intelligent undertaking, would better support Gardner's educational vision with a more comprehensively pluralistic view of knowing. (shrink)
For Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences Theory (MI) constitutes “a new understanding of human nature,” on a par with those proffered by Socrates and Freud. While the educational community in general has responded enthusiastically to MI, because it enables them to deal with students more holistically, MI embeds a significant dualism that is detrimental to truly holistic education. I will argue that: values are pervasive; intelligence requires the exercise of judgment, which no computational system can emulate; domains in which intelligence functions (...) are contested, as much as in the realm of “values,” judgments about “values” are “intelligent” in seeking to determine what conditions will promote flourishing, and the more appropriate distinction to draw is not between two structural domains of “empirical fact” and “subjective value,” but between structural conditions and directional responses to these conditions. (shrink)
Experientialist semantics has contributed to a broader notion of linguistic meaning by emphasizing notions such as construal, perspective, metaphor, and embodiment, but has suffered from an individualist concept of meaning and has conflated experiential motivations with conventional semantics. We argue that these problems can be redressed by methods and concepts from phenomenology, on the basis of a case study of sentences of non-actual motion such as “The mountain range goes all the way from Mexico to Canada.” Through a phenomenological reanalysis (...) of proposals of Talmy, Langacker, and Matlock, we show that non-actual motion is both experientially and linguistically non-unitary. At least three different features of human consciousness—enactive perception, visual scanning, and imagination—constitute experiential motivations for non-actual motion sentences, and each of these could be related to phenomenological analyses of human intentionality. The second problem is addressed by proposing that the experiential motivations of non-actual motion sentences can be viewed as sedimented through “passive” processes of acquisition and social transmission and that this implies an interactive loop between experience and language, yielding losses in terms of original experience, but gains in terms of communal signification. Something that is underestimated by phenomenology is that what is sedimented are not only intentional objects such as states of affairs, but aspects of how they are given, i.e., the original, temporal, bodily experiences themselves. Since cognitive semantics has emphasized such aspects of meaning, we suggest that phenomenology can itself benefit from experientialist semantics, especially when it turns its focus from prepredicative to predicative, linguistic intentionality. (shrink)
We advocate an analysis of meaning that departs from the pragmatic slogan that “meaning is use”. However, in order to avoid common missteps, this claim is in dire need of qualification. We argue that linguistic meaning does not originate from language use as such; therefore we cannot base a theory of meaning only on use. It is important not to neglect the fact that language is ultimately reliant on non-linguistic factors. This might seem to oppose the aforementioned slogan, but it (...) will be made clear how this opposition is chimerical. We propose that meaning traces back to the relation between subjectivity and intersubjectivity, which is at the heart of the matter by inducing strong interdependency between intention and interpretation. But to base a full-fledged analysis of meaning in communicative dyads alone is also insufficient. What needs to be further acknowledged is that meaning sharing becomes regulated by the interactions of a community. This we call consensus and it is at play in framing all communicative acts. Hence arises a triadic structure – we call this the meaningsharing network. The main motivation behind this model is to capture that meaning is not “in the head”, nor is it autonomous of the individual members that constitute it. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Travelling facts Mary S. Morgan; Part I. Matters of Fact: 2. Facts and building artefacts: what travels in material objects? Simona Valeriani; 3. A journey through times and cultures? Ancient Greek forms in American 19th century architecture: an archaeological view Lambert Schneider; 4. Manning's N: putting roughness to work Sarah J. Whatmore and Catharina Landström; 5. My facts are better than your facts: spreading good news about global warming Naomi Oreskes; 6. Real problems with (...) fictional cases Jon Adams; Part II. Integrity and Fruitfulness: 7. Ethology's travelling facts Richard Burkhardt; 8. Travelling facts about crowded rats: rodent experimentation and the human sciences Ed Ramsden; 9. Using cases to establish novel diagnoses: creating generic facts by making particular facts travel together Rachel Ankeny; 10. Technology transfer and travelling facts: a perspective from Indian agriculture Peter Howlett and Aashish Velkar; 11. Archaeological facts in transit: the eminent mounds of central North America Alison Wylie; Part III. Companionship and Character: 12. Packaging small facts for re-use: databases in model organism biology Sabina Leonelli; 13. Designed for travel: communicating facts through images Martina Merz; 14. Using models to keep us healthy: the productive journeys of facts across public health research networks Erika Mansnerus; 15. The facts of life and death: a case of exceptional longevity David Haycock; 16. Love life of a fact Heather Schell. (shrink)