Mindreading in Mind

Peter Carruthers

in The Opacity of Mind

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596195
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731549 | DOI:
Mindreading in Mind

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The topic of mindreading is central to the interpretive sensory-access (ISA) theory of self-knowledge. This chapter lays out the issues and options, and examines some of the pertinent evidence. The goal of the chapter is to lay bare the assumptions about mindreading that either support the ISA theory, or to which that theory is independently committed, and to show that those assumptions are at least defensible, if not highly plausible. Theorizing-theory and simulationist accounts of mindreading are discussed and found to be problematic, and recent evidence of very early mindreading in infants is reviewed and evaluated. It is argued that this supports a broadly modular conception of our mindreading competence. Evidence of simple forms of mindreading in non-human primates is also considered.

Keywords: infants; development; inner sense; looking time; mindreading; modularity; primates; simulation; System 2; theorizing-theory

Chapter.  19019 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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