Getting interaction theory (IT) together: integrating developmental, phenomenological, enactive, and dynamical approaches to social interaction
We argue tbat progress in our scientific understanding of tbe 'social mind' is bampered by a number of unfounded asstmiptions. We single out tbe widely sbared assumption tbat social bebavior depends solely on tbe capacities of an individual agent. In contrast, botb developmental and pbenomenological studies suggest tbat tbe personal-level capacity for detacbed 'social cognition' (conceived as a process of tbeorizing about and/or simulating anotber mind) is a secondary acbievement that is dependent on more immediate processes of embodied social interaction. We draw on the enactive approach to cognitive science to furtber clarify tbis strong notion of'social interaction' in tbeoretical terms. In addition, we indicate bow tbis interaction tbeory (IT) could eventually be formalized witb tbe belp of a dynamical systems perspective on tbe interaction process, especially by making use of evolutionary robotics modeling. We conclude tbat bringing togetber tbe metbods and insigbts of developmental, pbenomenological, enactive and dynamical approacbes to social interaction can provide a promising framework for future researcb.