On the Normativity That Emerges through Embodied Social Interactions
Shogo Tanaka (Tokai University)
The so-called interaction theory has brought rich insights into the debate on social cognition. Different from other major theories of mind, interaction theory describes the process of our social understanding focusing on the embodied interactions between the self and the other. In this presentation, I examine how the interaction theory can be further elaborated by drawing on the concept of aida, which was proposed by a Japanese phenomenologist Bin Kimura (1931-). Mainly describing an experience of music ensemble, Kimura explicates how the process of interpersonal interactions gain an autonomy as an emergent system. Beyond Kimura’s argument, I would like to show how this autonomy is experienced as a shared norm between the self and the other in social situations.
From Embodied Moral Judgements to Shared Narrative Reasons
Lasse T. Bergmann (University of Osnabrück, Institute of Cognitive Science)
According to orthodox action theory, agents rely on reflected propositional beliefs, i.e., rational reasons, to control their behaviour. Much empirical evidence, however, paints a different picture: Agents rarely follow their rational reasons, they are “vulnerable” to affective, interactional, and environmental factors. In the case of moral actions often the deciding factor is an embodied process of physical interaction with another agent. This interactional factor is quickly dismissed as an external factor agents are “vulnerable” to, and thus considered morally irrelevant. I will argue that, in an embodied-enacted cognitive framework, moral cognition meaningfully relies on context-sensitive embodied judgments. Agents learn the specific bodily interactions within specific contexts that are (im)permissible and create narratives about these contexts. If people have disagreements about what is the right thing to do, these disagreements are attempts to regularize narratives about these contexts: Agents are struggling to come together to create shared narratives describing normative spaces. Once they come together, they enact a primordial moral community: a joint narrative, which provides meaningful reasons for their actions.