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7.3b.4. Theory of Mind and Folk Psychology, Misc (Theory of Mind and Folk Psychology, Misc on PhilPapers)

See also:
Allen, Colin (ms). Macaque mirror neurons.   (Google)
Abstract: Primatologists generally agree that monkeys lack higher-order intentional capacities related to theory of mind. Yet the discovery of the so-called “mirror neurons” in monkeys suggests to many neuroscientists that they have the rudiments of intentional understanding. Given a standard philosophical view about intentional understanding, which requires higher-order intentionality, a paradox arises. Different ways of resolving the paradox are assessed, using evidence from neural, cognitive, and behavioral studies of humans and monkeys. A decisive resolution to the paradox requires substantial additional empirical work and perhaps a rejection of the standard philosophical view
Andrews, Kristin (2003). Knowing mental states: The asymmetry of psychological prediction and explanation. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Perhaps because both explanation and prediction are key components to understanding, philosophers and psychologists often portray these two abilities as though they arise from the same competence, and sometimes they are taken to be the same competence. When explanation and prediction are associated in this way, they are taken to be two expressions of a single cognitive capacity that differ from one another only pragmatically. If the difference between prediction and explanation of human behavior is merely pragmatic, then anytime I predict someone’s future behavior, I would at that moment also have an explanation of the behavior. I argue that advocates of both the theory theory and the simulation theory accept the symmetry of psychological prediction and explanation. However, there is very good reason to believe that this hypothesis is false. Just as we can predict the occurrence of some physical phenomena that we have no explanation for, we are also able to make accurate predictions of intentional behavior without having an explanation. Rather than requiring mental state attribution, I argue that the prediction of human behavior is most often accomplished by statistical induction rather than through an appeal to mental states. However, explanations are not given in these terms
Andrews, Kristin (online). The need to explain behavior: Predicting, explaining, and the social function of mental state attribution.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: According to both the traditional model of folk psychology and the social intelligence hypothesis, our folk psychological notions of belief and desire developed in order to make better predictions of behavior, and the fundamental role for our folk psychological notions of belief and desire are for making more accurate predictions of behavior (than predictions made without appeal to folk psychological notions). My strategy in this paper is to show that these claims are false. I argue that we need not appeal to mental states to make predictions of many behaviors, and I will offer a positive account of how we might go about predicting intentional behavior. Finally, I suggest that taken together, the critique of traditional folk psychology along with the alternative account of our predictive practices leads to a new hypothesis. While it may be true that mental state concepts developed in response to social-environmental pressures, I suggest that this pressure was more likely the need to explain behavior, rather than the need to predict it
Arkway, Angela (online). Folk psychological explanation, and causal laws.   (Google)
Arkway, Angela (2000). The simulation theory, the theory theory and folk psychological explanation. Philosophical Studies 98 (2):115-137.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Arkway, Angela (online). The simulation theory and explanations that 'make sense of behavior'.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Barnes, Allison & Thagard, Paul R. (1997). Empathy and analogy. Dialogue 36 (4):705-720.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We contend that empathy is best viewed as a kind of analogical thinking of the sort described in the multiconstraint theory of analogy proposed by Keith Holyoak and Paul Thagard (1995). Our account of empathy reveals the Theory-theory/Simulation theory debate to be based on a false assumption and formulated in terms too simple to capture the nature of mental state ascription. Empathy is always simulation, but may simultaneously include theory-application. By properly specifying the analogical processes of empathy and their constraints, we are able to show how the amount of theory needed to empathize is determined
Barresi, John (online). The neuroscience of social understanding.   (Google)
Abstract: In J. Zlatev, T. Racine, C. Sinha and E. Itkonen (Eds.) The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, in press
Bloom, Paul (2006). My brain made me do it. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1): 1567-7095.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Shaun Nichols (this issue) correctly points out that current theories of the development of mindreading say nothing about children's intuitions concerning indeterminist choice. That is, there are numerous theories of how children make sense of belief, desire, and action, but none that appeal to any notion of free will. Nichols suggests two alternatives for why this is the case. It could either be (a) an --outrageous oversight-- on the part of developmental psychologists or (b) a principled omission, reflecting a consensus that the notion of indeterminist choice is absent from children's mindreading processes. Nichols charitably favors the sec- ond alternative
Bogdan, Radu J. (2001). Developing mental abilities by representing intentionality. Synthese 129 (2):233-258.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Communication by shared meaning, themastery of word semantics,metarepresentation and metamentation aremental abilities, uniquely human, that share a sense ofintentionality or reference. The latteris developed by a naive psychology or interpretation – acompetence dedicated to representingintentional relations between conspecifics and the world. Theidea that interpretation builds new mentalabilities around a sense of reference is based on three linesof analysis – conceptual, psychological andevolutionary. The conceptual analysis reveals that a senseof reference is at the heart of the abilitiesin question. Psychological data track tight developmentalcorrelations between interpretation and theabilities it designs. Finally, an evolutionary hypothesislooks at why interpretation designed thosenew abilities around a sense of reference
Bogdan, Radu J. (2007). Inside loops: Developmental premises of self-ascriptions. Synthese 159 (2):235-252.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Self-ascriptions of thoughts and attitudes depend on a sense of the intentionality of one’s own mental states, which develops later than, and independently of, the sense of the intentionality of the thoughts and attitudes of others. This sense of the self-intentionality of one’s own mental states grows initially out of executive developments that enable one to simulate one’s own actions and perceptions, as genuine off-line thoughts, and to regulate such simulations
Bogdan, Radu J. (2003). Minding Minds: Evolving a Reflexive Mind by Interpreting Others. MIT Press.   (Cited by 36 | Google | More links)
Bogdan, Radu J. (2005). Why self-ascriptions are difficult and develop late. In B. Malle & S. Hodges. (eds.), Other Minds. Guilford Press.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Many philosophers and a few psychologists think that we understand our own minds before we understand those of others. Most developmental psychologists think that children understand their own minds at about the same time they understand other minds, by using the same cognitive abilities. I disagree with both views. I think that children understand other minds before they understand their own. Their self-understanding depends on some cognitive abilities that develop later than, and independently of, the abilities involved in understanding other minds. This is the general theme of this chapter
Bogdan, Radu J. (2003). Watch your metastep: The first-order limits of early intentional attributions. In C. Kanzian, J. Quitterer & L. Runggaldier (eds.), Persons: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Holder-Pichler-Tempsky.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: There is a wide and puzzleful gap between the child’s mastery of first- and recursive or higher-order attributions of attitudes, measured not only in years but also in the cognitive resources involved. Some accounts explain the gap in terms of the maturation of the competencies involved, others invoke the slow development of enabling resources, such as short-term memory, the syntax of sentence embedding or sequential reasoning. All these accounts assume a continuity of competence between first- and higher-order attributions. I disagree and argue, with psychological and neuroscientific support, that there are two distinct (though developmentally overlapping and interacting) competencies, one metaintentional and the other metarepresentational. I focus below on the former and argue that it is egocentric, situated, nonpropositional and thus intrinsically limited to first-order attributions, even when all the enabling resources are in place
Campbell, John (2005). Joint attention and common knowledge. In Naomi M. Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Carruthers, Peter (1996). Autism as mindblindness: An elaboration and partial defence. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this chapter I defend the mind-blindness theory of autism, by showing how it can accommodate data which might otherwise appear problematic for it. Specifically, I show how it can explain the fact that autistic children rarely engage in spontaneous pretend-play, and also how it can explain the executive-function deficits which are characteristic of the syndrome. I do this by emphasising what I take to be an entailment of the mind-blindness theory, that autistic subjects have difficulties of access to their own mental states, as well as to the mental states of other people
Carruthers, Peter (1996). Simulation and self-knowledge: A defence of the theory-theory. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 39 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this chapter I attempt to curb the pretensions of simulationism. I argue that it is, at best, an epistemological doctrine of limited scope. It may explain how we go about attributing beliefs and desires to others, and perhaps to ourselves, in some cases. But simulation cannot provide the fundamental basis of our conception of, or knowledge of, minded agency
Carruthers, Peter & Smith, Peter K. (eds.) (1996). Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 300 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Theories of Theories of Mind brings together contributions by a distinguished international team of philosophers, psychologists, and primatologists, who between them address such questions as: what is it to understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of other people? How does such an understanding develop in the normal child? Why, unusually, does it fail to develop? And is any such mentalistic understanding shared by members of other species? The volume's four parts together offer a state of the art survey of the major topics in the theory-theory/simulationism debate within philosophy of mind, developmental psychology, the aetiology of autism and primatology. The volume will be of great interest to researchers and students in all areas interested in the 'theory of mind' debate
Cruz, Joseph L. H. (1998). Mindreading: Mental state ascription and cognitive architecture. Mind and Language 13 (3):323-340.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The debate between the theory-theory and simulation has largely ignored issues of cognitive architecture. In the philosophy of psychology, cognition as symbol manipulation is the orthodoxy. The challenge from connectionism, however, has attracted vigorous and renewed interest. In this paper I adopt connectionism as the antecedent of a conditional: If connectionism is the correct account of cognitive architecture, then the simulation theory should be preferred over the theory-theory. I use both developmental evidence and constraints on explanation in psychology to support this claim
Currie, Gregory (1998). Pretence, pretending, and metarepresenting. Mind and Language 13 (1):35-55.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Davies, Martin & Stone, Tony (eds.) (1995). Folk Psychology: The Theory of Mind Debate. Blackwell.   (Cited by 163 | Google)
Davies, Martin & Stone, Tony (2003). Psychological understanding and social skills. In B. Repacholi & V. Slaughter (eds.), Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical Development. Hove, E. Sussex: Psychology Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: In B. Repacholi and V. Slaughter (eds), _Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical_ _Development_. Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science. Hove, E. Sussex: Psychology Press, 2003.
Egeth, Marc (2009). Representing Metarepresentations: Is there Theory of Mind-specific cognition? Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):244-254.   (Google)
Abstract: What cognitive mechanisms do people use to represent other people's mental states? Do children who have difficulty processing other people's higher-level mental states such as beliefs also have difficulty processing higher-level non-mental representations such as meta-photographs? See the preprint here or find the final version in print or on the journal website.
Eilan, Naomi; Hoerl, Christoph; Roessler, Johannes & McCormack, Teresa (2005). Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Sometime around their first birthday most infants begin to engage in relatively sustained bouts of attending together with their caretakers to objects in their environment. By the age of 18 months, on most accounts, they are engaging in full-blown episodes of joint attention. As developmental psychologists (usually) use the term, for such joint attention to be in play, it is not sufficient that the infant and the adult are in fact attending to the same object, nor that the one’s attention cause the other’s. The latter can and does happen much earlier, whenever the adult follows the baby’s gaze and homes in on the same object as the baby is attending to; or, from the age of six months, when babies begin to follow the gaze of an adult. We have the relevant sense of joint attention in play only when the fact that both child and adult are attending to the same object is, to use Sperber and Wilson’s (1986) phrase, ‘mutually manifest’. Psychologists sometimes speak of such jointness as a case of attention being ‘shared’ by infant and adult, or of a ‘meeting of minds’ between infant and adult, all phrases intended to capture the idea that when joint attention occurs everything about the fact that both subjects are attending to the same object is out in the open, manifest to both participants
Eilan, Naomi M. (2005). Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Sometime around their first birthday most infants begin to engage in relatively sustained bouts of attending together with their caretakers to objects in their environment. By the age of 18 months, on most accounts, they are engaging in full-blown episodes of joint attention. As developmental psychologists (usually) use the term, for such joint attention to be in play, it is not sufficient that the infant and the adult are in fact attending to the same object, nor that the one’s attention cause the other’s. The latter can and does happen much earlier, whenever the adult follows the baby’s gaze and homes in on the same object as the baby is attending to; or, from the age of six months, when babies begin to follow the gaze of an adult. We have the relevant sense of joint attention in play only when the fact that both child and adult are attending to the same object is, to use Sperber and Wilson’s (1986) phrase, ‘mutually manifest’. Psychologists sometimes speak of such jointness as a case of attention being ‘shared’ by infant and adult, or of a ‘meeting of minds’ between infant and adult, all phrases intended to capture the idea that when joint attention occurs everything about the fact that both subjects are attending to the same object is out in the open, manifest to both participants
Eilan, Naomi M. (2005). Joint Attention, Communication, and Mind. In N. Elian, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 16 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Sometime around their first birthday most infants begin to engage in relatively sustained bouts of attending together with their caretakers to objects in their environment. By the age of 18 months, on most accounts, they are engaging in full-blown episodes of joint attention. As developmental psychologists (usually) use the term, for such joint attention to be in play, it is not sufficient that the infant and the adult are in fact attending to the same object, nor that the one’s attention cause the other’s. The latter can and does happen much earlier, whenever the adult follows the baby’s gaze and homes in on the same object as the baby is attending to; or, from the age of six months, when babies begin to follow the gaze of an adult. We have the relevant sense of joint attention in play only when the fact that both child and adult are attending to the same object is, to use Sperber and Wilson’s (1986) phrase, ‘mutually manifest’. Psychologists sometimes speak of such jointness as a case of attention being ‘shared’ by infant and adult, or of a ‘meeting of minds’ between infant and adult, all phrases intended to capture the idea that when joint attention occurs everything about the fact that both subjects are attending to the same object is out in the open, manifest to both participants
Freeman, Norman H. (1995). Theories of mind in collision: Plausibility and authority. In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (2006). The narrative alternative to theory of mind. In Richard Menary (ed.), Radical Enactivism: Intentionality, Phenomenology and Narrative: Focus on the Philosophy of Daniel D. Hutto.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (2004). Understanding interpersonal problems in autism: Interaction theory as an alternative to theory of mind. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (3):199-217.   (Cited by 16 | Google)
Gazzaniga, Michael S. & Gallagher, Shaun (1998). The neuronal platonist. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):706-717.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: Psychology is dead. The self is a fiction invented by the brain. Brain plasticity isn?t all it?s cracked up to be. Our conscious learning is an observation post factum, a recollection of something already accomplished by the brain. We don?t learn to speak; speech is generated when the brain is ready to say something. False memories are more prevalent than one might think, and they aren?t all that bad. We think we?re in charge of our lives, but actually we are not. On top of all this, the common belief that reading to a young child will make her brain more attuned to reading is simply untrue
Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2003). On the relation between pretense and belief. In Imagination Philosophy and the Arts. Routledge.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: By the age of two, children are able to engage in highly elaborate games of symbolic pretense, in which objects and actions in the actual world are taken to stand for objects and actions in a realm of make-believe. These games of pretense are marked by the presence of two central features, which I will call quarantining and mirroring (see also Leslie 1987; Perner 1991). Quarantining is manifest to the extent that events within the pretense-episode are taken to have effects only within that pretense-episode (e.g. the child does not expect that ‘spilling’ ( pretend) ‘tea’1 will result in the table really being wet), or more generally, to the extent that proto-beliefs and proto-attitudes concerning the pretended state of affairs are not treated as beliefs and attitudes relevant to guiding action in the actual world. Mirroring is manifest to the extent that features of the imaginary situation that have not been explicitly stipulated are derivable via features of their real-world analogues (e.g. the child does expect that if she up-ends the teapot above the table, then the table will become wet in the pretense), or, more generally to the extent that imaginative content is taken to be governed by the same sorts of restrictions that govern believed content
Gerrans, Philip (1998). The norms of cognitive development. Mind and Language 13 (1):56-75.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Gordon, Robert M. (online). Developing commonsense psychology: Experimental data and philosophical data.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: Philosophers have been debating the nature of folk or commonsense psychology for three decades. We ask: What are the resources that enable us to navigate the social world, anticipating what others do, explaining what they’ve done, and perceiving them--and ourselves--as selves, subjects, persons, with beliefs, desire, perceptions, and feelings? Unlike traditional philosophy of mind, instead of directly confronting the mind-body problem and subproblems such as intentionality and qualia, we step back and look at the resources that give us the concepts that get us into these knots
Gordon, Robert M. (2000). Sellars's Ryleans revisited. Protosociology 14:102-114.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: Wilfrid Sellars's essay, "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," (1) introduced, although it did not exactly endorse, what many philosophers consider the first defense of functionalism in the philosophy of mind and the original "theory" theory of commonsense psychology
Gozzano, Simone (1997). Theory of mind and the ontology of belief. Il Cannocchiale 2 (May-August):145-156.   (Google)
Henderson, David K. (1996). Simulation theory versus theory theory: A difference without a difference in explanations. Southern Journal of Philosophy 34:65-93.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Herschbach, Mitchell (2008). Folk psychological and phenomenological accounts of social perception. Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):223 – 235.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Theory theory and simulation theory share the assumption that mental states are unobservable, such that mental state attribution requires an extra psychological step beyond perception. Phenomenologists deny this, contending that we can directly perceive people's mental states. Here I evaluate objections to theory theory and simulation theory as accounts of everyday social perception offered by Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher. I agree that their phenomenological claims have bite at the personal level, distinguishing direct social perception from conscious theorizing and simulation. Their appeals to phenomenology and other arguments do not, however, rule out theory theory or simulation theory as accounts of the sub-personal processes underlying social perception. While I here remain uncommitted about the plausibility of sub-personal theorizing and simulation, I argue that phenomenologists must do more in order to reject these accounts
Herschbach, Mitchell (2008). False-belief understanding and the phenomenological critics of folk psychology. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (12):33-56.   (Google)
Abstract: The dominant account of human social understanding is that we possess a 'folk psychology', that we understand and can interact with other people because we appreciate their mental states. Recently, however, philosophers from the phenomenological tradition have called into question the scope of the folk psychological account and argued for the importance of 'online', non-mentalistic forms of social understanding. In this paper I critically evaluate the arguments of these phenomenological critics, arguing that folk psychology plays a larger role in human social understanding than the critics suggest. First, I use standard false-belief tasks to spell out the commitments of the folk psychological picture. Next, I explicate the critics' account in terms of Michael Wheeler's distinction between online and offline intelligence. I then demonstrate the challenge that false-belief understanding -- a paradigm case of mental state understanding -- poses to the critics' online, non- mentalistic account. Recent research on false-belief understanding illustrates that mental state understanding comes in both online and offline forms. This challenges the critics' claim that our online social understanding does not require folk psychology
Hutto, Daniel D. (2004). Folk psychological narratives and the case of autism. Philosophical Papers 32 (3):345-361.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Hutto, Daniel D. (2006). Narrative practice and understanding reasons: Reply to Gallagher. In Richard Menary (ed.), Radical Enactivism: Intentionality, Phenomenology and Narrative: Focus on the Philosophy of Daniel D. Hutto.   (Google)
Jackson, Frank (1999). All that can be at issue in the theory-theory/simulation debate. Philosophical Papers 28 (2):77-96.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Knobe, Joshua (2005). Theory of mind and moral cognition: Exploring the connections. Trends in Cognitive Science 9:357-359.   (Google)
Abstract: An extremely brief (3 page) review of recent work on the ways in which people's moral judgments can influence their use of folk-psychological concepts
Langdon, Robyn; Davies, Martin & Coltheart, Max (2002). Understanding minds and understanding communicated meanings in schizophrenia. Mind and Language 17 (1-2):68-104.   (Cited by 26 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Cognitive neuropsychology is that branch of cognitive psychology that investi- gates people with acquired or developmental disorders of cognition. The aim is to learn more about how cognitive systems normally operate or about how they are normally acquired by studying selective patterns of cognitive break- down after brain damage or selective dif?culties in acquiring particular cogni- tive abilities. In the early days of modern cognitive neuropsychology, research focused on rather basic cognitive abilities such as speech comprehension or production at the single-word level, reading and spelling, object and face recognition, and short-term memory. More recently the cognitive-neuro- psychological approach has been applied to the study of rather more complex domains of cognition such as belief ?xation (e.g. Coltheart and Davies, 2000; Langdon and Coltheart, 2000) and pragmatic aspects of communication (e.g. McDonald and Van Sommers, 1993). Our paper concerns the investigation of pragmatic disorders in one clinical group in which such disorders are common, patients with schizophrenia, and what the study of such people can tell us about the normal processes of communication
Maibom, Heidi L. (2007). Social systems. Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):557 – 578.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It used to be thought that folk psychology is the only game in town. Focusing merely on what people do will not allow you to predict what they are likely to do next. For that, you must consider their beliefs, desires, intentions, etc. Recent evidence from developmental psychology and fMRI studies indicates that this conclusion was premature. We parse motion in an environment as behavior of a particular type, and behavior thus construed can feature in systematizations that we know. Building on the view that folk psychological knowledge is knowledge of theoretical models, I argue that social knowledge is best understood as lying on a continuum between behavioral and full-blown psychological models. Between the two extremes, we have what I call social models. Social models represent social structures in terms of their overall purpose and circumscribe individuals' roles within them. These models help us predict what others will do or plan what we should do without providing information about what agents think or want. Thinking about social knowledge this way gives us a more nuanced picture of what capacities are engaged in social planning and interaction, and gives us a better tool with which to think about the social knowledge of animals and young children
Malle, Bertram F. (2005). Folk Theory of Mind: Conceptual Foundations of Human Social Cognition. In Ran R. Hassin, James S. Uleman & John A. Bargh (eds.), The New Unconscious. Oxford Series in Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Malle, Bertram F. & Hodges, Sara D. (eds.) (2005). Other Minds: How Humans Bridge the Gap Between Self and Others. Guilford.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
McGeer, Victoria (2001). Psycho-practice, psycho-theory and the contrastive case of autism: How practices of mind become second-nature. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):109-132.   (Cited by 12 | Google)
Nichols, Shaun & Stich, Stephen P. (2003). Mindreading. An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 124 | Google)
Abstract: The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing volume in the prestigious interdisciplinary Oxford Cognitive Science series
Nichols, Shaun (2001). Mindreading and the cognitive architecture underlying altruistic motivation. Mind and Language 16 (4):425-455.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In recent attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying altruistic motivation, one central question is the extent to which the capacity for altruism depends on the capacity for understanding other minds, or ‘mindreading’. Some theorists maintain that the capacity for altruism is independent of any capacity for mindreading; others maintain that the capacity for altruism depends on fairly sophisticated mindreading skills. I argue that none of the prevailing accounts is adequate. Rather, I argue that altruistic motivation depends on a basic affective system, a ‘Concern Mechanism’, which requires only a minimal capacity for mindreading
Nichols, Shaun (web). Mindreading and the philosophy of mind. In J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: In J. Prinz (ed.) The Oxford Handbook on Philosophy of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press
Olson, David R. (forthcoming). Self-ascription of intention: Responsibility, obligation and self-control. Synthese.   (Google)
Abstract: In the late preschool years children acquire a “theory of mind”, the ability to ascribe intentional states, including beliefs, desires and intentions, to themselves and others. In this paper I trace how children’s ability to ascribe intentions is derived from parental attempts to hold them responsible for their talk and action, that is, the attempt to have their behavior meet a normative standard or rule. Self-control is children’s developing ability to take on or accept responsibility, that is, the ability to ascribe intentions to themselves. This is achieved, I argue, when they possess the ability to hold an utterance or rule in mind in the form of a quoted expression, and second, when they grasp the causal relation between the rule and their action. The account of how children learn to ascribe intention to themselves and others will then be used to explore the larger question of the relations amongst language, intentional states and the ascription and avowal of those states
Papafragou, Anna (2002). Mindreading and verbal communication. Mind and Language 17 (1&2):55–67.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The idea that verbal communication involves a species of mindreading is not new. Among linguists and philosophers, largely as a result of Grice’s (1957, 1967) influence, it has long been recognized that the act of communicating involves on the part of the communicator and the addressee mutual metarepresentations of each others’ mental states. In psychology, the coordination of common ground and attention in conversation has been pursued in a variety of studies (e.g. Clark and Marshall, 1981; Bruner, 1983)
Peacocke, Christopher (2005). Joint attention: Its nature, reflexivity, and relation to common knowledge. In Naomi M. Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Abstract: Two parents are watching their son take his first upright steps in learning to walk. Here we have a paradigm of joint attention. The two parents are attending to their son; they are aware of each other’s attention to their son; and all this attention is wholly overt. Everything is in the open, nothing is hidden. In what does this openness consist? Can we characterize it explicitly, without using metaphors?
Perner, Josef; Gschaider, A.; Kuhberger, A. & Schrofner, S. (1999). Predicting others through simulation or by theory? A method to decide. Mind and Language 14 (1):57-79.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Perner, Josef (1991). Understanding the Representational Mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.   (Cited by 1060 | Google)
Roessler, Johannes (2005). Joint attention and the problem of other minds. In Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Ruffman, Ted (1996). Do children understand the mind by means of a simulation or a theory? Evidence from their understanding of inference. Mind and Language 11 (4):388-414.   (Cited by 19 | Google)
Russell, James (forthcoming). Controlling core knowledge: Conditions for the ascription of intentional states to self and others by children. Synthese.   (Google)
Abstract: The ascription of intentional states to the self involves knowledge, or at least claims to knowledge. Armed with the working definition of knowledge as ‘the ability to do things, or refrain from doing things, or believe, or want, or doubt things, for reasons that are facts’ [Hyman, J. Philos. Quart. 49:432–451], I sketch a simple competence model of acting and believing from knowledge and when knowledge is defeated by un-experienced changes of state. The model takes the form of three concentric circles. The ‘periphery’ is analogous to Fodor’s [(1983), The modularity of mind. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA] input systems. The ‘core’ contains copies of peripheral representations, and between these representations there is executive competition. At the ‘nucleus’, operations are performed on the core representations of, at least, negation and recursion. I argue that this provides a fruitful way in which to conceptualise why theory-of-mind tasks challenge pre-school children, how some degree of first-person authority is mental state attribution is possible, and how executive inhibition is achieved
Schwitzgebel, Eric (1999). Children's theories and the drive to explain. Science and Education 8:457-488.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Schwitzgebel, Eric (1999). Gradual belief change in children. Human Development 42 (6):283-296.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Scholl, Brian J. & Leslie, Alan M. (1999). Modularity, development and "theory of mind". Mind and Language 14 (1):131-153.   (Cited by 91 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Psychologists and philosophers have recently been exploring whether the mechanisms which underlie the acquisition of ‘theory of mind’ (ToM) are best charac- terized as cognitive modules or as developing theories. In this paper, we attempt to clarify what a modular account of ToM entails, and why it is an attractive type of explanation. Intuitions and arguments in this debate often turn on the role of _develop-_ _ment_: traditional research on ToM focuses on various developmental sequences, whereas cognitive modules are thought to be static and ‘anti-developmental’. We suggest that this mistaken view relies on an overly limited notion of modularity, and we explore how ToM might be grounded in a cognitive module and yet still afford development. Modules must ‘come on-line’, and even fully developed modules may still develop _internally_, based on their constrained input. We make these points con- crete by focusing on a recent proposal to capture the development of ToM in a module via _parameterization_
Schwitzgebel, Eric (1997). Words About Young Minds: The Concepts of Theory, Representation, and Belief in Philosophy and Developmental Psychology. Dissertation, University of California Berkeley   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this dissertation, I examine three philosophically important concepts that play a foundational role in developmental psychology: theory, representation, and belief. I describe different ways in which the concepts have been understood and present reasons why a developmental psychologist, or a philosopher attuned to cognitive development, should prefer one understanding of these concepts over another
Spaulding, Shannon (2010). Embodied cognition and mindreading. Mind and Language 25 (1):119-140.   (Google)
Abstract: Recently, philosophers and psychologists defending the embodied cognition research program have offered arguments against mindreading as a general model of our social understanding. The embodied cognition arguments are of two kinds: those that challenge the developmental picture of mindreading and those that challenge the alleged ubiquity of mindreading. Together, these two kinds of arguments, if successful, would present a serious challenge to the standard account of human social understanding. In this paper, I examine the strongest of these embodied cognition arguments and argue that mindreading approaches can withstand the best of these arguments from embodied cognition
Sterelny, Kim (2004). The triumph of a reasonable man: Stich, mindreading, and nativism. In Michael A. Bishop & Dominic Murphy (eds.), Stich and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Humans interpret others. We are able to anticipate both the actions and intentional states of other agents. We do not do so perfectly, but since we are complex and flexible creatures even limited success needs explanation. For some years now Steve Stich (frequently in collaboration with Shaun Nichols) has been both participant in, and observer of, debates about the foundation of these capacities (Stich and Nichols 1992; Stich and Nichols 1995). As a commentator on this debate, Stich (with Nichols) gave explicit and fair-minded sketches of the cognitive architectures presupposed by the various theories of mindreading. As a participant, Stich has mostly been a defender of the theory-theory, the view that normal human agents have an internally represented theory of other agents and they use that theory in interpreting other agents. The main recent rival to this position, simulationism, claims that agents use their own decision-making mechanisms as a model of those of other agents, and derive their predictions by modelling others in something like the way aeronautical engineers derive predictions from the use of scale models in wind-tunnels. Stich has been sceptical about this alternative, for on his view simulation theory makes mistaken predictions about both the development of interpretive competence and about the pattern of interpretive success and failure
Stich, Stephen P. & Nichols, Shaun (2000). A cognitive theory of pretense. Cognition 74 (2):115-147.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent accounts of pretense have been underdescribed in a number of ways. In this paper, we present a much more explicit cognitive account of pretense. We begin by describing a number of real examples of pretense in children and adults. These examples bring out several features of pretense that any adequate theory of pretense must accommodate, and we use these features to develop our theory of pretense. On our theory, pretense representations are contained in a separate mental workspace, a Possible World Box which is part of the basic architecture of the human mind. The representations in the Possible World Box can have the same content as beliefs. Indeed, we suggest that pretense representations are in the same representational ``code'' as beliefs and that the representations in the Possible World Box are processed by the same inference and UpDating mechanisms that operate over real beliefs. Our model also posits a Script Elaborator which is implicated in the embellishment that occurs in pretense. Finally, we claim that the behavior that is seen in pretend play is motivated not from a ``pretend desire'', but from a real desire to act in a way that ®ts the description being constructed in the Possible World Box. We maintain that this account can accommodate the central features of pretense exhibited in the examples of pretense, and we argue that the alternative accounts either can't accommodate or fail to address entirely some of the central features of pretense. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
Suddendorf, Thomas & Fletcher-Flinn, Claire (1997). Theory of mind and the origins of divergent thinking. Journal of Creative Behavior 31:169-179.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The development of a `theory of mind' may not only be important for understanding the minds of others but also for using one's own mind. To investigate this supposition, forty children between the ages of three and four were given false-belief and creativity tasks. The numbers of appropriate and of original responses in the creativity test were found to correlate positively with performance on false-belief tasks. This association was robust, as it continued to be strong and significant even when age and verbal intelligence were partialled out. The results support the hypothesis that the metarepresentational skills involved in theory of mind also affect the way children can access and scan their own mental repertoire beyond the areas of currently activated content (i.e. divergent thinking). With the advent of theory of mind a basic cognitive shift takes place in human development, and possibly took place in cognitive evolution
Tomasello, Michael & Rakoczy, Hannes (2003). What makes human cognition unique? From individual to shared to collective intentionality. Mind and Language 18 (2):121-147.   (Cited by 54 | Google | More links)
Wegner, Daniel; Gray, H. & Gray, K. (2007). Dimensions of mind perception. Science 315:619.   (Google)