Conceptualizing Simulation Theory

Alvin I. Goldman

in Simulating Minds

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195138924
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786480 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

 Conceptualizing Simulation Theory

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This chapter clarifies the notion of simulation and explores the relationship between simulating and theorizing. Generic simulation is the resemblance or imitation of one thing by another, so mental simulation is the resemblance or imitation of one mental process by another. For example, visual imagery may simulate vision by using much of the same neural machinery that vision uses. The main empirical question here is whether third-person mindreading is substantially based on attempts to simulate selected processes and states in the head of a target. The possibility of limited compatibility between simulation and theorizing undercuts arguments that mental simulation inevitably “collapses” into theorizing, and the prospects for simulation-theory hybrids are explored.

Keywords: collapse; resemblance; mental simulation; simulation-theory hybrid; visual imagery

Chapter.  13335 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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