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Joint Attention: Communication and Other MindsIssues in Philosophy and Psychology$
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Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack, and Johannes Roessler

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245635.001.0001

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What Puts the Jointness into Joint Attentio n?

What Puts the Jointness into Joint Attentio n?

(p.185) 9 What Puts the Jointness into Joint Attention?
Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds

R. Peter Hobson

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that joint attention needs to be understood in terms of one person's engagement with another person's engagement with the world. It is pivotal from a developmental perspective that we have an appropriate view of what is involved when we share experiences, or when we perceive and align with another person's ‘attention’ as a bodily-expressed and affectively toned relation with the environment. The chapter explores these theoretical issues through studies involving children with autism, who have limited ability to engage with others emotionally. It concludes that intersubjective engagement, and more specifically the propensity to identify with the attitudes of others, is critical for the early development of joint attention.

Keywords:   intersubjectivity, intersubjective engagement, social perception, imitation, identification, autism, infancy

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