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Interactive Time-Travel: On the Intersubjective Retro-modulation of Intentions

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The temporality of intentions and actions in situations of social interaction can sometimes be paradoxical. I argue that in these situations it may sometimes be possible to conceive of individual acts that can, in a strong sense, be intended retroactively. This could happen when the relational patterns in social interaction literally alter the virtual structure of a participant's past corporeal intentions resulting in an odd experience of having intended something all along without knowing it. I propose that this possibility should be interpreted as more than just a narrowly epistemic phenomenon. Examining this claim involves clarifying the enactive perspective on intentionality, which I do here. The enactive approach rejects the model of a causal relation between intention and action for one of an intrinsic qualitative relation between the two as facets of sense-making. I develop this idea and compare it with Merleau-Ponty's Fundierung model of the mutual relation between corporeal and reflexive intentionality to show that co-regulated moves/affections during social interaction may modulate both arcs of this relation, creating the possibility of a re-signification that alters not the actuality but the virtual tendencies that preceded the social act.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain; University of the Basque Country, Spain; Centre for Computational Neuroscience and, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 January 2015

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