1 Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, Københavns Universitet
In 'Joint Action and Development', Stephen Butterfill argues that if several agents' actions are driven by what he calls a "shared goal" -- a certain pattern of goal-relations and expectations -- then these actions constitute a joint action. This kind of joint action is sufficiently cognitively undemanding for children to engage in, and therefore has the potential to play a part in fostering their understanding of other minds. Part of the functional role of shared goals is to enable agents to choose means that are appropriate to realising a goal with others rather than individually. By offering a counterexample, I show that the pattern of goal-relations and expectations specified by Butterfill cannot play this role. I then provide an appropriately conceptually and cognitively undemanding amendment with which the account can be saved.
Philosophical Quarterly, 2015, Vol 65, Issue 258, p. 94-101
Faculty of Humanities; Joint action; plural activity; shared goal; mindreading; social development; Stephen Butterfill