Joint Action: A Dancing Philosopher’s Perspective

Dancing with a partner is one of the key examples in philosophy of joint action and collective intentionality. When explaining this phenomenon theories so far have mainly focused on either emergent coordination (lower-level cognitive processes) or planned coordination (higher-level cognitive processes). With some exemptions, most theories take either to be sufficient to explain the joint action phenomenon of dancing. Analyzing my own experience as a ballroom dancer and teacher, I suggest that we enrich our explanatory theories with a ‘level’ of cognitive processes. Furthermore, I will argue that all these processes can only be understood as recursively interrelated, functioning interdependently.