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Title: Naturally we : a philosophical study of collective intentionality
Author: Gallotti, Mattia Luca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 0305
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2010
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According to many philosophers and scientists, human sociality is explained by our unique capacity to ‘share’ the mental states of others and to form collective intentional states. Collective intentionality has been widely debated in the past two decades, focusing especially on the issue of its reducibility to individual intentionality and the place of collective intentions in the natural realm. It is not clear, however, to what extent these two issues are related, and what methodologies of investigation are appropriate in each case. In this thesis I set out a theory of the naturalization of collective intentionality that draws a line between naturalizability arguments and theories of collective intentionality naturalized. The former provide reasons for believing in the naturalness of collective intentional states based on our commonsense understanding of them; the latter offer responses to the ontological question about the existence and identity of collective as distinct from individual intentionality. This model is naturalistic because it holds that the only way to establish the place of mental entities in the order of things is through the theory and practice of science. After reviewing naturalizability arguments in philosophy, I consider an influential research program in the cognitive sciences. On the account that I present, the irreducibility of collective intentionality can be derived from a theory of human development in scientific psychology dealing with phenomena of sociality like communication, recently refined by Michael Tomasello.
Supervisor: Pleasants, Nigel ; Griffiths, Paul Sponsor: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship ; Royal Institute of Philosophy Bursary, London ; Department of Sociology and Philosophy Teaching Bursary, University of Exeter ; Fellowship for Graduate Studies Abroad, University of Milan
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Collective Intentionality, Social Ontology, Naturalism, Conceptual Reduction, Michael Tomasello, Joint Attention, Developmental Social Cognition