1 January 2012

Interdisciplinary Workshop: Personal and Shared Intentions

Where: Berlin
When: May 3-5, 2012
Deadline for submissions (posters only): February 15

Workshop Description
In recent decades, philosophers and cognitive scientists have focused intensively on various aspects of personal opposed to shared intentions and their role in individual and/or joint actions. In this workshop, we bring together scientists from different disciplines to discuss the pros and cons of traditional approaches and studies as well as novel models and experiments that shed new light on open questions and contribute fruitfully to the ongoing debate.  The common theme of our workshop shall be the following question: How do personal and shared intentions interrelate, and what are the differences between them?

Possible subtopics concern:
Cognitive mechanisms
What are the cognitive mechanisms that underlie personal and shared intentions in individual and/or joint actions? Should we account for - joint or individual - intentional action in terms of intentions as mental states of individual agents on a par with beliefs and desires?

Individual vs. shared intentional action
What are the conceptual preliminaries of ‘intention’ we need to account for in individual opposed to joint actions? Are shared intentions nothing but the sum of personal intentions, and if not, how else do they differ? Are intentional actions irreducibly social?
What are the criteria to judge adequately whether we or another person has performed a particular action intentionally or not? How does our belief whether we interact with a cooperative, competitive or naive partner influence our perception of humanness and the ascription of intentions? How do we determine cooperativeness and competitiveness in interactive settings?

Moral dimension: relationship between individual and shared intentions
Is the ability to act on the basis of shared intentions a core constituent of adequate moral judgment and moral  motivation?
Which role do moral and self-referential emotions play in individual and joint actions? How does our emotional  affectedness influence our sense of agency, attribution of intentions, and interactive behaviour patterns?

Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
E-Mail: intentions@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

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