Authors
Hanne De Jaegher
University of the Basque Country
Abstract
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
Keywords Coordination  Enaction  Infancy  Intercorporality  Intersubjectivity  Participatory sense-making  Phenomenology  Social interaction
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-009-9136-4
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References found in this work BETA

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.

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Empathy and Direct Social Perception: A Phenomenological Proposal. [REVIEW]Dan Zahavi - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):541-558.
Extended Cognition and the Space of Social Interaction.Joel Krueger - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):643-657.

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