Shared goals and development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Olle Blomberg
In 'Joint Action and Development', Stephen Butterfill argues that if several agents' actions are driven by what he calls a "shared goal" -- a certain pattern of goal-relations and expectations -- then these actions constitute a joint action. This kind of joint action is sufficiently cognitively undemanding for children to engage in, and therefore has the potential to play a part in fostering their understanding of other minds. Part of the functional role of shared goals is to enable agents to choose means that are appropriate to realising a goal with others rather than individually. By offering a counterexample, I show that the pattern of goal-relations and expectations specified by Butterfill cannot play this role. I then provide an appropriately conceptually and cognitively undemanding amendment with which the account can be saved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Issue number258
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Joint action, plural activity, shared goal, mindreading, social development, Stephen Butterfill

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