chapter  1.4
8 Pages

Sharing minds

Intersubjectivity in the earliest months
BySandra Smidt

This chapter explores how the human infant reveals her innate awareness of the feelings of others and starts to purposefully become a member of her culture. The human infant is born into a society in which there are places, things and people. The social world is different from that of objects. Objects have no feelings and cannot relate to people or predict what they will do. Human beings understand people on an intimate or on a more remote basis and know how to act together with others in order to do something together or achieve a goal, which may be shared. The work of Nagy and Molnar to determine whether newborn infants merely copied what adults did in front of them or whether they actually initiated actions for others to copy is conclusive here. They called the observed behaviours of the newborn babies who made an action requiring a response from another provocations – i.e. provoking a response.