Collective intentionality - KA tilvalg

Course content

Collective intentionality.

In philosophy of mind, “intentionality” refers to the fact that consciousness is directed at or about objects or states of affairs. In addition to cases such as “seeing a rose,” “thinking about Venice” or “imagining a pixie”, people can also be directed at objects and states of affairs together. We can “plan a vacation”, “enjoy a movie” or “protest against the budget cuts” together.

Whenever we do things together, whenever we jointly attend to something, or share an emotion, we can be said to engage in collective intentionality. But what exactly is collective intentionality?

In the last twenty or thirty years, this question has started to attract a steadily growing attention, mainly within analytic philosophy of action. However, the recent debate has by and large neglected the fact that very similar investigations were conducted by phenomenologists such as Gurwitsch, Husserl, Reinach, Scheler, Schutz, Stein, and Walther during the first half of the last century. Thus, phenomenology offers not only sophisticated analyses of consciousness, subjectivity and intentionality, but also elaborate investigations of how individuals are experientially interrelated and the suggestion that shared intentionality might be based on interpersonal understanding and reciprocal recognition.

The main purpose of this course is to analyze and discuss both contemporary and classical accounts of collective intentionality. Various central texts by the figures listed above will be compared and contrasted to more recent discussions in analytic philosophy in order to assess whether and how phenomenological insights can elucidate the nature of collective intentionality and the status of the we.


The master’s elective study in Philosopy 2019 curricullum

Kurset svarer til Udvalgt emne inden for fænomenologi og bevidsthedsfilosofi

Lectures and class teaching, or a combination of both, with oral exercises and group discussions.

Not relevant
Type of assessment
Written examination
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 388
  • English
  • 388