CFS Lecture by Glenda Satne: Basic Joint Intentional Actions

Lecture by Glenda Satne (Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago de Chile) 

According to many, understanding the nature and development of human knowledge of other minds requires understanding the relationship between such knowledge and characteristic human forms of interaction and shared agency. Some authors (Butterfill 2012) have even claimed that Interactive agents might have a route to knowledge to other people mental states that passive observers are not in the position to have. This insight can be substantiated in different ways, depending on how one understands the relevant forms of interaction and shared agency. In this presentation I am interested in pursuing this idea taking as a starting point an Anscombian framework. My aim is to argue that there are cases of joint intentional action in which when I am acting jointly with another, I have knowledge of the other agent’s mind. Furthermore, that I know what my partner’s s intention is in the same way I know what my intention is, and I don´t know this by observation or inference. It is a kind of knowledge that can be legitimately called practical knowledge. This is the Joint Practical Knowledge Thesis (JPK). In arguing for this I distinguish the genus of joint intentional activity that involves this kind of joint practical knowledge, and a species of the genus, Basic Joint Intentional Actions. While there are reasons to think these last present the most complicated case for JPK, I argue  that cases of such a basic action-type can be understood following the anscomibian model.