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(2017/2018) II Semester: Alessandro Duranti (University of California): "Intentionality, intersubjectivity and cooperation in human activities"  

Title:​ Intentionality, intersubjectivity and cooperation in human activities (provisional title)

Teacher:​ Alessandro Duranti (University of California, Los Angeles)

Dates: 13nd-14th March 2018

To register please mail to: giampietro.gobo@unimi.it


Course​ Abstract

The course will use my book The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others (Cambridge University Press, 2015) as a starting point for the analysis of data and their in-class discussion.  

1. Use of the notion of “intention” by Austin, Searle, and Grice (the “Standard Theory”). Earlier uses of “intention” in the writings of various authors, including Brentano, Husserl, and Reinach. Heidegger’s critique of intentionality.  (Duranti 2015, chapters 1, 2, and 7). In-class textual analysis of some passages from one or more of the above mentioned authors.

2. The anthropological critique of the use of intention (Rosaldo, Ochs, Rosen, and others) (Duranti, chapters 3 and 8).  In-class exercise on transcripts. 

3. Missionaries and anthropologists. Traduttori o traditori? The assumptions and implications of the practice of translation for Boas, Malinowski, and Whorf.  Missionary practices from the earliest cases in South America (in the 16th and 17th century) to later cases in the Pacific, in the 19th century. The example of the Samoan translation of “promise” and its implications (Duranti 2015: chapter 4). In-class exercise on the King James Bible, Greek New Testament, Samoan and Tahitian bibles. 

4. Speakers and audience. The co-construction and intersubjective attunement in political speech. In-class analysis of video clips and transcripts from the “Walter Capps for the U.S. Congress” project (1995-96) and from more recent events available on Youtube.  (Duranti 2015: chapter 6).

5. The socially distributed nature of joint activities. Critique of Searle’s notion of “collective intentionality,” Neo-Vygotskian approaches to distributed cognition (Hutchins, Lave) and extended mind. Husserl’s earlier notion of intersubjectivity.  Embodiment (Merleau-Ponty 1945, Bourdieu 1977). In-class analysis of interactions among jazz musicians. (Duranti 2015: chapters 9 and 10). 

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