Making our ends meet: shared intention, goal adoption and the third-person perspective

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):75-98 (2014)
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Abstract

Mind reading (i.e. the ability to infer the mental state of another agent) is taken to be the main cognitive ability required to share an intention and to collaborate. In this paper, I argue that another cognitive ability is also necessary to collaborate: representing others’ and ones’ own goals from a third-person perspective (other-centred or allocentric representation of goals). I argue that allocentric mind reading enables the cognitive ability of goal adoption, i.e. having the goal that another agent’s achieve p because and as long as another agent has that goal that p. Having clarified the relevance of mutual goal adoption for acting jointly, I argue that when an intention is shared between several agents, each individual has an intention in favour of the joint action and one in favour of a joint mode of reasoning. This mode of reasoning is allocentric reasoning. Finally, I elaborate on the consequences of this view for the scientific study of human collaboration

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References found in this work

Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.John Von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern - 1944 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Psychophysical and theoretical identifications.David K. Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.

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