Joint Action, Group Minds and Musical Improvisation: A Philosophical Analysis
Kevin RYAN 2013 MSc.pdf (1.167Mb)
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In this thesis, I shall explore the possibility of offering a non-reductive theory of group minds and joint action in performances of IGM. What makes my account distinct from many currently on offer is that I suggest group minds exist as both conceptually and ontologically distinct entities. I follow this particular route of exploration primarily to uncover a rich set of possibilities for theoretical advancements over existing theories of joint action. To be more specific, in exploring the psychological and conceptual grounding of group minds, I shall argue that in the context of IGM, group minds are conceptually and ontologically irreducible to individual minds. I develop this argument in light of Raimo Tuomela’s account of joint action. Since Tuomela's work has seen a number of revisions over the past several decades, my focus is on his 2007 book The Philosophy of Sociality: The Shared Point of View. While there is no intrinsic reason why one must choose Tuomela as the conceptual lens for an analysis of IGM, I have decided to do so, in part, because his work hasn't been given a full treatment in the context of joint artistic actions. Moreover, I find that several core conceptual elements in Tuomela's account offer a particularly enlightening way for approaching IGM and, furthermore, provide a strong base for defending an ontologically realist approach to group minds. In addition, Tuomela's account shall be juxtaposed with Bratman's work to explore why conceptual and ontological irreducibility is necessary for describing IGM.