Joint Attention and Common Knowledge: Assessing the Relational Approach
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Two parents are looking together at their daughter as she takes her first steps in learning to walk unaided. They are both attending to their daughter and are both aware of each other’s attention. Everything about their mutual attention is out in the open between them. This mutual awareness puts the "jointness" in joint attention, and distinguishes it from scenarios in which different subjects merely happen to attend to the same object. In order to provide a satisfactory account of joint attention, some current prominent theories conceive of this mutual awareness as a primitive phenomenon, irreducible to the individual mental states of each participant. In this article, I examine John Campbell’s position, as exemplary of this view.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen