This book is a unique exploration of the idea of the "second person" in human interaction, the idea that face-to-face interactions involve a distinctive form of reciprocal mental state attributions that mediates their dynamical unfolding.
Challenging the view of mental attribution as a sort of "theory of mind", Pérez and Gomila argue that the second person perspective of mental understanding is the conceptually, ontogenetically, and phylogenetically basic way of understanding mentality. Second person interaction provides the opportunity for the acquisition of concepts of mental states of increasing complexity. The book reviews the growing interest in a variety of second person phenomena, both in development and in adulthood, presenting research that shows how participants in human interaction attribute psychological states of a referentially transparent kind to each other. This review documents the spontaneous preference for face-to-face interaction, from eye contact to joint attention, from forms of vitality to communicative intentions, from interaction detection to joint action, and from synchrony to interpersonal coordination.
Also looking at the implications and applications of the second person perspective within fields as diverse as art and morality, this book is fascinating reading for students and academics in social and cognitive psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Introducing the Second Person Perspective 2. Contrasting Views of the Second Person 3. Second Person Attributions 4. Second Person Phenomena 5. Emotional Engagement and Emotion Attribution 6. Expression and the Second Person Perspective 7. The Interplay of Perspectives 8. Dissolving the Problem of Other Minds 9. The Second Person in Art 10. Second Person and Morality Epilogue
Diana I. Pérez is a full professor of Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind at the Department of Philosophy, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and distinguished researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas (SADAF-CONICET). She has written extensively on topics in metaphysics and philosophy of mind.
Antoni Gomila has been a lecturer in Philosophy of Psychology (1992–1999), lecturer in Psychology of Thinking and Language (1999–2009), and a full professor since 2010 at the University of the Balearic Islands. His research interests have turned interdisciplinary issues around the social dimension of human cognition and its evolution, as well as foundational issues in Cognitive Science.