Axel Seemann

Axel Seemann is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bentley University. He is the editor of Joint Attention: New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience (MIT Press).

  • The Shared World

    The Shared World

    Perceptual Common Knowledge, Demonstrative Communication, and Social Space

    Axel Seemann

    A novel treatment of the capacity for shared attention, joint action, and perceptual common knowledge.

    In The Shared World, Axel Seemann offers a new treatment of the capacity to perceive, act on, and know about the world together with others. Seemann argues that creatures capable of joint attention stand in a unique perceptual and epistemic relation to their surroundings; they operate in an environment that they, through their communication with their fellow perceivers, help constitute. Seemann shows that this relation can be marshaled to address a range of questions about the social aspect of the mind and its perceptual and cognitive capacities. Seemann begins with a conceptual question about a complex kind of sociocognitive phenomenon—perceptual common knowledge—and develops an empirically informed account of the spatial structure of the environment in and about which such knowledge is possible. In the course of his argument, he addresses such topics as demonstrative reference in communication, common knowledge about jointly perceived objects, and spatial awareness in joint perception and action.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £30.00
  • Joint Attention

    Joint Attention

    New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience

    Axel Seemann

    Interdisciplinary perspectives on definitional concerns, underlying mechanisms, and the functional significance of joint attention.

    Academic interest in the phenomenon of joint attention—the capacity to attend to an object together with another creature—has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Yet it isn't easy to spell out in detail what joint attention is, how it ought to be characterized, and what exactly its significance consists in. The writers for this volume address these and related questions by drawing on a variety of disciplines, including developmental and comparative psychology, philosophy of mind, and social neuroscience. The volume organizes their contributions along three main themes: definitional concerns, such as the question of whether or not joint attention should be understood as an irreducibly basic state of mind; processes and mechanisms obtaining on both the neural and behavioral levels; and the functional significance of joint attention, in particular the role it plays in comprehending spatial perspectives and understanding other minds. The collected papers present new work by leading researchers on one of the key issues in social cognition. They demonstrate that an adequate theory of joint attention is indispensable for a comprehensive account of mind.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99