Elizabeth Pacherie

Senior Fellow
Cognitive Science
Institut Jean Nicod, ENS, EHESS, CNRS, Paris
Project Title: 
We-mode Processes and Their Interplay in Joint Action
Project Abstract: 

A common theme emerging from cross-disciplinary investigations of joint action in the last decade is that a unique set of cognitive and brain processes might be responsible for grounding human-like forms of cooperative interaction. I refer to these forms of interaction as involving 'we-intentionality', and to the underlying processes as 'we-mode' processes.

While philosophical accounts of joint action as well as game theory focus on 'we-mode' processes involved in making decisions about whether or not to cooperate and on more long-range planning processes, but typically do not address. Conversely, cognitive psychology studies of joint action typically focus on the perceptual, cognitive, and motor mechanisms enabling people to coordinate online.

This main aim of this project is to contribute to bridging the gap between philosophical approaches of joint actions and their empirical investigation by analyzing the relations between we-mode processes at higher and lower cognitive levels.

It has three related goals: (1) to investigate how these we-mode processes are articulated and interact to yield intentional joint action; (2) to explore the forms of continuity between more basic and more sophisticated forms of joint action; and (3) to explore how we-mode processes and perspectives relate to I-mode processes and individual perspectives.

To make progress on these issues, an investigation of the conceptual relations among we-mode processes and between them and I-mode processes should integrate the insights provided by recent developments in the relevant empirical sciences. The unique set of expertise in all the relevant areas possessed by members of the Department of cognitive science at CEU makes it the perfect research environment in which to carry out this project.