Maximizing Minimalism: Prospects for a Minimal, Naturalistic Account of Joint Action
Joint actions, such as dancing together or rowing a boat, have been the subject of much recent philosophical discussion. How can an intentional action be „shared“ among agents? The standard analyses by John Searle, Margret Gilbert, and Michael Bratman are cognitively demanding insofar as they require, for example, beliefs about beliefs or common knowledge. Because they are cognitively demanding, such „maximalist“ account do not apply easily to examples of spontaneous or improvised joint action, or to the joint actions of young children and non-human social animals. Minimalist accounts try to start with cognitively simple resources, such as those possessed by young children and animals, and work toward the more complex behavior of adult humans. This talk will explore just how far we might develop minimalist accounts. Can we account for adult human joint action in minimalist terms?