The Shared World: Perceptual Common Knowledge, Demonstrative Communication, and Social Space
A novel treatment of the capacity for shared attention, joint action, and perceptual common knowledge.
In The Shared World, Axel Seemann offers a new treatment of the capacity to perceive, act on, and know about the world together with others. Seemann argues that creatures capable of joint attention stand in a unique perceptual and epistemic relation to their surroundings; they operate in an environment that they, through their communication with their fellow perceivers, help constitute. Seemann shows that this relation can be marshaled to address a range of questions about the social aspect of the mind and its perceptual and cognitive capacities.
Seemann begins with a conceptual question about a complex kind of sociocognitive phenomenon—perceptual common knowledge—and develops an empirically informed account of the spatial structure of the environment in and about which such knowledge is possible. In the course of his argument, he addresses such topics as demonstrative reference in communication, common knowledge about jointly perceived objects, and spatial awareness in joint perception and action.
About the Author
Axel Seemann is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bentley University. He is the editor of Joint Attention: New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience (MIT Press).
Praise for The Shared World: Perceptual Common Knowledge, Demonstrative Communication, and Social Space
“The Shared World is a rich and energetic book, that deserves a wide readership....[A] very impressive work of critical synthesis, that manages to construct an empirically informed, yet philosophically astute, picture of the basis of human sociality.”
—The Journal of Mind and Behavior
“All considered, there is much to like about The Shared World. It should be read by philosophers interested in attention and perception, but also by those interested in reference and social cognition more generally. The book aspires to address philosophical issues about our perceptual knowledge of the “shared world” while drawing uponthe best available evidence from social neuroscience and developmental psychology.”
—Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences