Chapter

Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Mentalizing

Alvin I. Goldman

in Simulating Minds

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195138924
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786480 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195138929.003.0001

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

 Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Mentalizing

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A brief overview and mini-history of the subject of mindreading are presented. Philosophers were the first to worry about the folk understanding of other minds and the distinctive nature of self-knowledge. They advanced the view that “folk psychology” presupposes a naive theory of mind. Empirical evidence about young children’s poor performance on false-belief tasks and about the link between autism and “mindblindness” spurred interest among developmental psychologists and psychopathologists. The central questions for a comprehensive theory of mindreading are (1) how people mindread others, (2) how they mindread themselves, (3) how they acquire their mindreading abilities, and (4) what is the content of mental-state concepts.

Keywords: autism; false-belief tasks; folk psychology; mental concepts; mindblindness; other minds; theory of mind

Chapter.  9386 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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