Joint Attention and Communication

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Joint attention occurs when two (or more) individuals attend together to some object. It has been identified by psychologists as an early form of our joint engagement, and is thought to provide us with an understanding of other minds that is basic in that sophisticated conceptual resources are not involved. Accordingly, it has also attracted the interest of philosophers. Moreover, a very recent trend in the psychological and philosophical literature on joint attention consists of developing the suggestion that it holds partially in virtue of communication: it is because we share our thoughts or feelings about an object that our individual attention becomes joint. This paper unpacks the communicative suggestion in a way that accounts for joint attention's basicness.

Author's Profile

Rory Harder
University College Dublin


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