How does it really feel to act together?
shared emotions and the phenomenology of we-agency
Research on the phenomenology of agency for joint action has so far focused on the sense of agency and control in joint action, leaving aside questions on how it feels to act together. This paper tries to fill this gap in a way consistent with the existing theories of joint action and shared emotion. We first reconstruct Pacherie's (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 13, 25–46, 2014) account on the phenomenology of agency for joint action, pointing out its two problems, namely (1) the necessary trade-off between the sense of self- and we-agency; and (2) the lack of affective phenomenology of joint action in general. After elaborating on these criticisms based on our theory of shared emotion, we substantiate the second criticism by discussing different mechanisms of shared affect—feelings and emotions—that are present in typical joint actions. We show that our account improves on Pacherie's, first by introducing our agentive model of we-agency to overcome her unnecessary dichotomy between a sense of self- and we-agency, and then by suggesting that the mechanisms of shared affect enhance not only the predictability of other agents' actions as Pacherie highlights, but also an agentive sense of we-agency that emerges from shared emotions experienced in the course and consequence of joint action.
Salmela, M. , Nagatsu, M. (2017). How does it really feel to act together?: shared emotions and the phenomenology of we-agency. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (3), pp. 449-470.
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