Shared experiences and other minds
In spite of the widespread consensus among researchers that the capacity to share intentions and act jointly plays a pivotal role in the establishment and sustaining of human forms of sociality, it is still an open question, both conceptually and empirically, what this sharing or “we-ness” (Tomasello 2014, 152) amounts to. Drawing on resources offered by classical phenomenology, analytic philosophy of mind, and partly by other disciplines, like developmental psychology and psychopathology, I am investigating the experiential and cognitive structures involved in the sharing of experiences with other people, focusing on shared perceptual experiences of joint attention and affective sharing.
The account of experiential sharing that I develop aims to be sensitive to some cases in which the capacity to share experiences with others is disrupted or anomalous, by taking a look at some aspects of intersubjective experience in infantile autism and, in particular, schizophrenia. These complex pathological conditions can be a source of insight for theorizing about the structure of sharing, insofar as some of the constituents of the latter can be interpreted as coming apart or being altered in those conditions. At the same time, of course, conceptual work on sharing can help us to enrich our interpretations of these conditions, and better understand them.
If you want to know more about the project please contact PhD Fellow Felipe León.