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Is Common Knowledge Necessary?

What is shared intention?

Substantial account:

We have a shared intention that we J if

‘1. (a) I intend that we J and (b) you intend that we J

‘2. I intend that we J in accordance with and because of la, lb, and meshing subplans of la and lb; you intend [likewise] …

‘3. 1 and 2 are common knowledge between us’

(Bratman 1993: View 4)

Bratman isn’t saying that common knowledge is necessary, but other accounts do. And why should Bratman mention it at all?

‘Miller (2001, 60) submits that ‘mutual knowledge is what distinguishes joint action from interdependent action that is not joint’, but never explains why mutual knowledge has this transformative power’

Blomberg, 2015 p. 3

Last piece of business: why require common knowledge in the construction of shared intention?

Why common knowledge?

Facts about your intentions feature in my planning.

Only known facts can feature in my planning.

Therefore *knowledge* is required.

do we get from here to *common* knowledge?

‘public access to the shared intention will normally be involved in further thought that is characteristic of shared intention, as when we plan together how to carry out our shared intention.’

Bratman (2015, p. 57)

What is Bratman saying? I’m not sure.

What I intend depends on my knowledge of what you intend

... which depends on your knowledge of what I intend

... which depends on my knowledge of what you intend