chapter  6
4 Pages

Locating second person thought

Let us call what is going onwhen these enrichments are in place ‘face to face co-operative activity’. The label draws to our attention that the interactions now involve expressive behaviour and simple forms of language, openly and purposively directed by agents to each other. Compared with side-by-side co-operation, agents engaging in face-to-face co-operative activity thus show more understanding of their separateness, and of what that implies for the varying ways in which co-operation may come about and develop. In side-by-side co-operation agents need to be aware of each other in order to co-ordinate and respond to each other’s actions. But in face-to-face co-operation they attend to each other also in more focused ways and for different purposes. With face-to-face co-operation each openly (i.e. in such a way that it is common knowledge) takes stances to the other, and responds to the other’s openly taken stances, as shown by the actions directed to the other. And this manifesting of and responding to stances is donewith a view to creating commonunderstanding of a project on which they may engage or are engaged, a common understanding which maywell not arise without such interaction. Sowe have here something which plausibly falls under the label ‘addressing’, as that was introduced in Section 2. In the case of side-by-side co-operation, by contrast, no such addressing of the other is needed because common understanding is taken for granted as already existing.