CFS Workshop: Collective Intentionality: Its Features and Pre-conditions

Speakers: Prof. Hans Bernhard Schmid and Dr. Luca Tummolini  


14.20-14.30 Introduction

14.30-15.30 Dr. Luca Tummolini:
                  “Do We Need the Group Perspective to Share an Intention?”

15.30-15.45 Coffee Break

15.45-16.45 Hans Bernhard Schmid:
                  “Expressing We-Attitudes: On First Person Plural Authority”

16.45-17.00 Concluding remarks


Do we need the group perspective to share an intention?
Dr. Luca Tummolini, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technology, Rome

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 talk, I will argue that, it is a specific form of mind-reading that is indeed necessary to collaborate: representing others’ and ones’ own goals from a third-person perspective (other-centred or allocentric representation of goals). I will 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. After having clarified the relevance of mutual goal-adoption for acting jointly, I will propose 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. Allocentric reasoning differs from we-mode or team reasoning.
Dr. Luca Tummolini's website

Expressing We-Attitudes: On First Person Plural Authority
Hans Bernhard Schmid, University of Vienna, Austria

It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants. While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. In my talk I will argue for the following five claims: (1) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case.
Prof. Hans Bernhard Schmid's website