Numerous philosophical theories of joint agency and its intentional structure have been developed in the past few decades. These theories have offered accounts of joint agency that appeal to higher-level states that are?shared? in some way. These accounts have enhanced our understanding of joint agency, yet there are a number of lower-level cognitive phenomena involved in joint action that philosophers rarely acknowledge. In particular, empirical research in cognitive science has revealed that when individuals engage in a joint activity such as (...) conversation or joint problem solving, they become aligned at multiple levels. We argue that this phenomenon of alignment is crucial to understanding joint actions and should be integrated with philosophical approaches. In this paper, we sketch a possible integration, and draw out its implications for understanding of joint agency and collective intentionality. The result is a process-based, dynamic account of joint action that integrates both low-level and high-level states, and seeks to capture the separate processes of how a joint action is initiated and sustained. (shrink)
A variety of theoretical frameworks predict the resemblance of behaviors between two people engaged in communication, in the form of coordination, mimicry, or alignment. However, little is known about the time course of the behavior matching, even though there is evidence that dyads synchronize oscillatory motions (e.g., postural sway). This study examined the temporal structure of nonoscillatory actions—language, facial, and gestural behaviors—produced during a route communication task. The focus was the temporal relationship between matching behaviors in the interlocutors (e.g., facial (...) behavior in one interlocutor vs. the same facial behavior in the other interlocutor). Cross-recurrence analysis revealed that within each category tested (language, facial, gestural), interlocutors synchronized matching behaviors, at temporal lags short enough to provide imitation of one interlocutor by the other, from one conversational turn to the next. Both social and cognitive variables predicted the degree of temporal organization. These findings suggest that the temporal structure of matching behaviors provides low-level and low-cost resources for human interaction. (shrink)
We describe a “centipede’s dilemma” that faces the sciences of human interaction. Research on human interaction has been involved in extensive theoretical debate, although the vast majority of research tends to focus on a small set of human behaviors, cognitive processes, and interactive contexts. The problem is that naturalistic human interaction must integrate all of these factors simultaneously, and grander theoretical mitigation cannot come only from focused experimental or computational agendas. We look to dynamical systems theory as a framework for (...) thinking about how these multiple behaviors, processes, and contexts can be integrated into a broader account of human interaction. By introducing and utilizing basic concepts of self-organization and synergy, we review empirical work that shows how human interaction is flexible and adaptive and structures itself incrementally during unfolding interactive tasks, such as conversation, or more focused goal-based contexts. We end on acknowledging that dynamical systems accounts are very short on concrete models, and we briefly describe ways that theoretical frameworks could be integrated, rather than endlessly disputed, to achieve some success on the centipede’s dilemma of human interaction. (shrink)
This brief commentary has three goals. The first is to argue that ‘‘framework debate’’ in cognitive science is unresolvable. The idea that one theory or framework can singly account for the vast complexity and variety of cognitive processes seems unlikely if not impossible. The second goal is a consequence of this: We should consider how the various theories on offer work together in diverse contexts of investigation. A final goal is to supply a brief review for readers who are compelled (...) by these points to explore existing literature on the topic. Despite this literature, pluralism has garnered very little attention from broader cognitive science. We end by briefly considering what it might mean for theoretical cognitive science. (shrink)
Research on linguistic interaction suggests that two or more individuals can sometimes form adaptive and cohesive systems. We describe an “alignment system” as a loosely interconnected set of cognitive processes that facilitate social interactions. As a dynamic, multi-component system, it is responsive to higher-level cognitive states such as shared beliefs and intentions (those involving collective intentionality) but can also give rise to such shared cognitive states via bottom-up processes. As an example of putative group cognition we turn to transactive memory (...) and suggest how further research on alignment in these cases might reveal how such systems can be genuinely described as cognitive. Finally, we address a prominent critique of collective cognitive systems, arguing that there is much empirical and explanatory benefit to be gained from considering the possibility of group cognitive systems, especially in the context of small-group human interaction. (shrink)
This article examines the ethical implications of the growing integration of consumption into the heart of the employment relationship. Human resource management (HRM) practices increasingly draw upon the values and practices of consumption, constructing employees as the 'consumers' of 'cafeteria-style' benefits and development opportunities. However, at the same time employees are expected to market themselves as items to be consumed on a corporate menu. In relation to this simultaneous position of consumer/consumed, the employee is expected to actively engage in the (...) commodification of themselves, performing an appropriate organizational identity as a necessary part of being a successful employee. This article argues that the relationship between HRM and the simultaneously consuming/consumed employee affects the conditions of possibility for ethical relations within organizational life. It is argued that the underlying 'ethos' for the integration of consumption values into HRM practices encourages a self-reflecting, self-absorbed subject, drawing upon a narrow view of individualised autonomy and choice. Referring to Levinas' perspective that the primary ethical relation is that of responsibility and openness to the Other, it is concluded that these HRM practices affect the possibility for ethical being. (shrink)
This paper explicates secular psychodynamic growth through the life time and meditation as routes to the transpersonal from the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology, based around a multi-line model of growth. A multi-line model raises many significant points for a transpersonal audience. Such models have been pioneered by Hunt. When set on the footing of evolutionary developmental biology and nonlinear dynamics these kind of models become all the more cogent, penetrating and far reaching, validating plurality and diversity in both the (...) process and final form of transpersonal development. The "anecdotal" accounts which Hunt reports, and which this paper adds to, can thus be amalgamated with an established and sophisticated research program . Such developments are symptomatic of a general movement in the sciences towards a non-linear paradigm, to which the transpersonal movement might have been slow to respond. (shrink)
Somites are transient structures which represent the most overt segmental feature of the vertebrate embryo. The strict temporal regulation of somitogenesis is of critical developmental importance since many segmental structures adopt a periodicity based on that of the somites. Until recently, the mechanisms underlying the periodicity of somitogenesis were largely unknown. Based on the oscillations of c-hairy1 and lunatic fringe RNA, we now have evidence for an intrinsic segmentation clock in presomitic cells. Translation of this temporal periodicity into a spatial (...) periodicity, through somite formation, requires Notch signaling. While the Hox genes are certainly involved, it remains unknown how the metameric vertebrate axis becomes regionalized along the antero–posterior (AP) dimension into the occipital, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral domains. We discuss the implications of cell division as a clock mechanism underlying the regionalization of somites and their derivatives along the AP axis. Possible links between the segmentation clock and axial regionalization are also discussed. (shrink)
Critics have pointed out that the content and sequence of mystical development reported by different traditions do not seem very congruous with the contention that there is a universal path of mystical development. I propose a model of mystical development that is more subtle than traditional ‘invariant hierarchical’ models, and which explains how the apparently differing accounts of mystical development between traditions and thinkers can be reconciled with each other in a more convincing fashion, and brought together under one umbrella. (...) The model preserves both the objective core of perennialism and the culturally subjective element of mystical ‘specialization’ that is undeniably evidenced in the mystical literature, and which hierarchical and invariant ‘universalist’ accounts struggle to integrate. (shrink)
In order that a degree-of-belief function be coherent it is necessary and sufficient that it satisfy the axioms of probability theory. This theorem relies heavily for its proof on the two-valued sentential calculus, which emerges as a limiting case of a continuous scale of truth-values. In this "continuum of certainty" a theorem analogous to that instanced above is proved.
This special issue is a refreshing contrast to the intuitively influential notion of language as an internal system. This internal approach to language is going strong in some segments of the cognitive sciences. As an assumption, internalism drives much empirical work on language, and it is the basis of prominent theories of language – its nature (e.g. an internalised computational system), its evolution (e.g. a single still-unknown mutation), and its function (e.g. thinking, not communication). -/- Radical fundamentalist versions of these (...) theories are no longer in the main stream, however, despite the attention they may garner by forceful exposition (e.g. Chomsky 2011a). A fuller canvassing of the cognitive sciences – obviously outside the scope of the current presentation – would probably reveal that most researchers, even those who study aspects of language isolated in individual participants, would allow for an intrinsic social characteristic to language. I would go so far as to guess that they would place this social character on explanatory par with other structural or information-processing features that are studied in the lab. And despite what is averred by Chomsky (2011a), this social character in human cognition has been proposed in many domains, from vision (Balcetis & Lassiter 2010) to memory (Barnier et al. 2008). Humans are intrinsically social in a way that distinguishes them from any other primate species, and this sociality seems to be weaved into many cognitive processes (Castiello et al. 2010; Tomasello 2009). -/- But “social” is not the same thing as “distributed,” by the content of this issue. The latter may subsume the former. The distributed approach discussed in this special issue is not “simply” social – it does not just propose an added static feature of any synchronic language context (as noted in Jennings & Thompson this issue). The approach instead regards this social characteristic as just one part of a broader dynamic distributed process that constitutes language, through different kinds of inter-individual coordination at many levels of spatial and temporal scale (Cowley this issue; Fusaroli & Tylén this issue). (shrink)
This paper examines the evidence for the life and career of the Lesbian tyrant Myrsilos. Following an examination of the ancient testimonia for Myrsilos in the text of Alcaeus and later sources, the name Myrsilos is then considered in relation to the Hittite royal name Mur, Myrsilos as an alternate name for the Lydian king Kandaules and various toponyms in Lydia and Caria that appear to be derived from the same underlying name or title. The consequences of the distribution of (...) these names is then considered in the cultural and historical context of the Aegean-Anatolian interface, with implications for early Lesbian history and cultural continuity from the Late Bronze Age down to the Archaic period. (shrink)
Text, interpretation and metre present a tangled problem in this threnody, and the solutions of editors differ widely. The chief function of detailed metrical study in such corrupt passages of lyric is to weight the scales in favour of—or more often against—certain methods of handling the text. The positive results of this present attempt to apply metrical criteria are necessarily modest and tentative; negatively they are, I think, sometimes decisive.
: This article critiques Elizabeth Grosz's understanding that queer theory is unproductive insofar as it disrupts the specific identities of gay and lesbian. Reconsidering ideas about desire, the body, and identity that Grosz takes from Gilles Deleuze's work on Friedrich Nietzsche and Baruch Spinoza, this essay argues that, despite her productive reworking of homophobia in terms of "active" and "reactive" forces, Grosz's application of Spinoza is only partial. Focusing on Spinoza's evaluation of bodies, the essay both critiques Grosz's approach to (...) experimental desire and observes Spinozist preoccupations in order to talk about the experimental body. It concludes that if Grosz were to attend more seriously to the Spinozist imperative to analyze a body in terms of its capabilities—that is, its power to be affected—the epistemological basis of her argument would change. It would be difficult to dismiss the plurality and sensibility of a queer body or its challenge to lesbian and gay as the source of a primary identity. (shrink)
The creation of a sense of place has emerged as a goal of many community development initiatives. However, little thought has been given to the role of physical spaces in the shaping of possible senses of place. This article examines three Canadian examples of community sustainable development initiatives to demonstrate that sense of place can be shaped and constrained by the geographical and environmental features of the physical space a community occupies. This finding suggests that a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to community (...) sustainable development is unlikely to be successful; a community's sustainable development ethic will be informed by geography. However, there is some evidence that a strong individual sense of place shaped by local space may act as a barrier to the acceptance of new people and ideas. Conversely, a strong sense of place can result in mobilization for sustainable development initiatives. (shrink)