A Naturalistic Argument for the Irreducibility of Collective Intentionality

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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0048393111426864
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Bakhurst (2015). Training, Transformation and Education. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:301-327.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Hans B. Schmid (2003). Can Brains in Vats Think as a Team? Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):201-218.
Deborah Tollefsen (2004). Collective Intentionality. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

77 ( #63,139 of 1,924,699 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #58,177 of 1,924,699 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.