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Summary Theory of Mind and Folk Psychology describe our capacity to understand and interact with other agents. One important way we make sense of other agents' behavior is by attributing various mental states to them and explaining and predicting their behavior on the basis of these attributed mental states.This is called mindreading. The main debates at issue in this area are (i) the general nature of our ability to understand and interact with other agents, (ii) theories of how we attribute mental states, e.g., Theory Theory or Simulation Theory, (iii) the ontogenetic development of our folk psychological and mindreading skills, (iv) the nature of the mental state concepts we employ in folk psychology, and (v) skepticism about the propositional attitudes folk psychology attributes to agents.
Key works Two books that have served as pillars of the debate about theory of mind and folk psychology are Davies & Stone 1995 and Davies & Stone 1995. These two volumes contain essays that defined the relevant debates and gave shape to the field. More contemporary works that have had a significant impact on the field are Nichols & Stich 2003:Mindreading and I. Goldman 2006:Simulating Minds. These two books present different accounts of the nature of our folk psychological practices, how we attribute mental states, the ontogenetic and phylogenetic development of folk psychology, introspection, and a host of other issues. These works have had an enormous impact on both general and specific theories of theory of mind and folk psychology.
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  1. Incroyables mais vraies : les identités physico-phénoménales et le modèle des fichiers mentaux.Michael Murez & Enzo Thouzeau-Corpel - 2024 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 1 (121).
  2. On IQ and other sciencey descriptions of minds.Devin Sanchez Curry - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Philosophers of mind (from eliminative materialists to psychofunctionalists to interpretivists) generally assume that a normative ideal delimits which mental phenomena exist (though they disagree about how to characterize the ideal in question). This assumption is dubious. A comprehensive ontology of mind includes some mental phenomena that are neither (a) explanatorily fecund posits in any branch of cognitive science that aims to unveil the mechanistic structure of cognitive systems nor (b) ideal (nor even progressively closer to ideal) posits in any given (...)
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  3. Symbolic belief in social cognition.Evan Westra - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):388-408.
    Keeping track of what others believe is a central part of human social cognition. However, the social relevance of those beliefs can vary a great deal. Some belief attributions mostly tell us about what a person is likely to do next. Other belief attributions tell us more about a person's social identity. In this paper, I argue that we cope with this challenge by employing two distinct concepts of belief in our everyday social interactions. The epistemic concept of belief is (...)
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  4. Brains as the source of being: Mind/brain focus and the Western model of mind in dominant cognitive science discourse.Rita Anne McNamara - 2023 - In Robert Vinten (ed.), Wittgenstein and the Cognitive Science of Religion: Interpreting Human Nature and the Mind. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 163-177.
    Inferences about others’ knowledge, goals, and motivations are vital to human strategies in navigating our social worlds. Yet, because we live in socially constructed worlds, our abilities to perceive, conceive, and react to agents – both seen and unseen – are also socially constructed. Most existing research on beliefs about supernatural agents assumes a Western model of mind that posits a) one can infer others’ thoughts, and b) mental state inference is the best explanation for actions. Other cultures view minds (...)
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  5. Point and Network Notions of Artificial Intelligence Agency.Marcin Rabiza - 2022 - Proceedings 81 (1):18.
    As intelligent machines are more and more present in our environment, the interest of researchers in the problem of AI (artificial intelligence) agency is growing significantly. In light of this, this paper aims to examine the dominant trends in AI agency research regarding their philosophical implications, as well as to provide a research commentary. Recurring themes of point and network notions of agency are identified, based on which the argument for the dual-process nature of agency perception is presented. Emphasis is (...)
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  6. Sensorimotor accounts of joint attention.Alexander Maye, Carme Isern-Mas, Pamela Barone & John A. Michael - 2017 - Scholarpedia 12 (2):42361.
    Joint attention is a social-cognitive phenomenon in which two or more agents direct their attention together towards the same object. Definitions range from this rather broad conception to more specific definitions which require that, in addition, attention be directed to the same aspect of that object and that agents need to be mutually aware of their jointly attending. Joint attention is an important coordination mechanism in joint action. The capacity for engaging in joint attention, in particular in the sense of (...)
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  7. Talking about thinking: Language, Thought, and Mentalizing.Leda Berio - 2021 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    Our ability to attribute mental states to others ("to mentalize") has been the subject of philosophical and psychological studies for a very long time, yet the role of language acquisition in the development of our mentalizing abilities has been largely understudied. This book addresses this gap in the philosophical literature. -/- The book presents an account of how false belief reasoning is impacted by language acquisition, and it does so by placing it in the larger context of the issue, how (...)
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  8. The Tinkering Mind.Tillmann Vierkant - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic agency is a crucial concept in many different areas of philosophy and the cognitive sciences. It is crucial in dual process theories of cognition as well as theories of metacognition and mindreading, self-control, and moral agency. But what is epistemic agency? The Tinkering Mind argues that epistemic agency has two distinct and incompatible definitions. It can be simply understood as intentional mental action, or as a distinct non-voluntary form of evaluative agency. The core argument of the book demonstrates that (...)
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  9. A pluralistic framework for the psychology of norms.Evan Westra & Kristin Andrews - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (5):1-30.
    Social norms are commonly understood as rules that dictate which behaviors are appropriate, permissible, or obligatory in different situations for members of a given community. Many researchers have sought to explain the ubiquity of social norms in human life in terms of the psychological mechanisms underlying their acquisition, conformity, and enforcement. Existing theories of the psychology of social norms appeal to a variety of constructs, from prediction-error minimization, to reinforcement learning, to shared intentionality, to domain-specific adaptations for norm acquisition. In (...)
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  10. Coordinating Behaviors: Is social interaction scripted?Gen Eickers - 2023 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 53 (1):85-99.
    Some philosophical and psychological approaches to social interaction posit a powerful explanatory tool for explaining how we navigate social situations: scripts. Scripts tell people how to interact in different situational and cultural contexts depending on social roles such as gender. A script theory of social interaction puts emphasis on understanding the world as normatively structured. Social structures place demands, roles, and ways to behave in the social world upon us, which, in turn, guide the ways we interact with one another (...)
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  11. What is Mental Fictionalism?Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon - 2022 - In Tamás Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York & London: Routledge. pp. 1-24.
    This chapter introduces several versions of mental fictionalism, along with the main lines of objection and reply. It begins by considering the debate between eliminative materialism (“eliminativism”) versus realism about mental states as conceived in “folk psychology” (i.e., beliefs, desires, intentions, etc.). Mental fictionalism offers a way to transcend the debate by allowing talk of mental states without a commitment to realism. The idea is to treat folk psychology as a “story” and three different elaborations of this are reviewed. First, (...)
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  12. Teleology first: Goals before knowledge and belief.Tobias Schlicht, Johannes L. Brandl, Frank Esken, Hans-Johann Glock, Albert Newen, Josef Perner, Franziska Poprawe, Eva Schmidt, Anna Strasser & Julia Wolf - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:e169.
    Comparing knowledge with belief can go wrong in two dimensions: If the authors employ a wider notion of knowledge, then they do not compare like with like because they assume a narrow notion of belief. If they employ only a narrow notion of knowledge, then their claim is not supported by the evidence. Finally, we sketch a superior teleological view.
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  13. Does Amy know Ben knows you know your cards? A computational model of higher-order epistemic reasoning.Cedegao Zhang, Huang Ham & Wesley H. Holliday - 2021 - Proceedings of CogSci 2021.
    Reasoning about what other people know is an important cognitive ability, known as epistemic reasoning, which has fascinated psychologists, economists, and logicians. In this paper, we propose a computational model of humans’ epistemic reasoning, including higher-order epistemic reasoning—reasoning about what one person knows about another person’s knowledge—that we test in an experiment using a deductive card game called “Aces and Eights”. Our starting point is the model of perfect higher-order epistemic reasoners given by the framework of dynamic epistemic logic. We (...)
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  14. How to count biological minds: symbiosis, the free energy principle, and reciprocal multiscale integration.Matthew Sims - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2157-2179.
    The notion of a physiological individuals has been developed and applied in the philosophy of biology to understand symbiosis, an understanding of which is key to theorising about the major transition in evolution from multi-organismality to multi-cellularity. The paper begins by asking what such symbiotic individuals can help to reveal about a possible transition in the evolution of cognition. Such a transition marks the movement from cooperating individual biological cognizers to a functionally integrated cognizing unit. Somewhere along the way, did (...)
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  15. Social and Enactive Perspectives on Pretending.Zuzanna Rucinska - 2019 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 10 (3).
    This paper presents pretending as an enacted and fundamentally social activity. First, it demonstrates why we should think of pretense as inherently social. Then, it shows how that fact affects our theory in terms of what is needed in order to pretend. Standardly, pretense is seen as requiring a mechanism that allows one to bypass the “obvious” re- sponse to the environment in order to opt for a symbolic response; that mechanism is im- aginative and representational. This paper shows that (...)
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  16. Knowledge is a mental state (at least sometimes).Adam Michael Bricker - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1461-1481.
    It is widely held in philosophy that knowing is not a state of mind. On this view, rather than knowledge itself constituting a mental state, when we know, we occupy a belief state that exhibits some additional non-mental characteristics. Fascinatingly, however, new empirical findings from cognitive neuroscience and experimental philosophy now offer direct, converging evidence that the brain can—and often does—treat knowledge as if it is a mental state in its own right. While some might be tempted to keep the (...)
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  17. Seeing Seeing.Ben Phillips - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):24-43.
    I argue that we can visually perceive others as seeing agents. I start by characterizing perceptual processes as those that are causally controlled by proximal stimuli. I then distinguish between various forms of visual perspective-taking, before presenting evidence that most of them come in perceptual varieties. In doing so, I clarify and defend the view that some forms of visual perspective-taking are “automatic”—a view that has been marshalled in support of dual-process accounts of mindreading.
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  18. Interoception and Empathy Impact Perspective Taking.Lukas Heydrich, Francesco Walker, Larissa Blättler, Bruno Herbelin, Olaf Blanke & Jane Elizabeth Aspell - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Adopting the perspective of another person is an important aspect of social cognition and has been shown to depend on multisensory signals from one’s own body. Recent work suggests that interoceptive signals not only contribute to own-body perception and self-consciousness, but also to empathy. Here we investigated if social cognition – in particular adopting the perspective of another person – can be altered by a systematic manipulation of interoceptive cues and further, if this effect depends on empathic ability. The own-body (...)
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  19. Does Criminal Responsibility Rest Upon a False Supposition? No.Luke William Hunt - 2020 - Washington University Jurisprudence Review 13 (1):65-84.
    Our understanding of folk and scientific psychology often informs the law’s conclusions regarding questions about the voluntariness of a defendant’s action. The field of psychology plays a direct role in the law’s conclusions about a defendant’s guilt, innocence, and term of incarceration. However, physical sciences such as neuroscience increasingly deny the intuitions behind psychology. This paper examines contemporary biases against the autonomy of psychology and responds with considerations that cast doubt upon the legitimacy of those biases. The upshot is that (...)
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  20. When a Circle Becomes the Letter O: Young Children’s Conceptualization of Learning and Its Relation With Theory of Mind Development.Zhenlin Wang & Douglas A. Frye - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    In two independent yet complementary studies, the current research explored the developmental changes of young children’s conceptualization of learning, focusing the role of knowledge change and learning intention, and its association with their developing theory of mind ability. In study 1, 75 children between 48 and 86 months of age judged whether a character with or without a genuine knowledge change had learned. The results showed that younger children randomly attributed learning between genuine knowledge change and accidental coincidence that did (...)
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  21. Re-conceptualizing the role of stimuli: an enactive, ecological explanation of spontaneous-response tasks.Alan Jurgens - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (5):915-934.
    This paper addresses a challenge proposed against non-mindreading explanations of infant spontaneous-response task data. The challenge is a foundational assumption of mindreading explanations best summed up by Carruthers : 141-172, 2013, Consciousness and Cognition, 36: 498-507, 2015) claim that only by appealing to a theory of mind is it possible to explain infant responses in spontaneous-response false-belief tasks when there are no one-to-one correspondences between observable behavior and mental states. Heyes, 131–143, 2014a, Developmental Science, 17, 647–659. b) responds to this (...)
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  22. Self-Oriented Empathy and Compassion Fatigue: The Serial Mediation of Dispositional Mindfulness and Counselor’s Self-Efficacy.Lin Zhang, Zhihong Ren, Guangrong Jiang, Dilana Hazer-Rau, Chunxiao Zhao, Congrong Shi, Lizu Lai & Yifei Yan - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    This study aimed to explore the association between self-oriented empathy and compassion fatigue, and examine the potential mediating roles of dispositional mindfulness and the counselor’s self-efficacy. A total of 712 hotline psychological counselors were recruited from the Mental Health Service Platform at Central China Normal University, Ministry of Education during the outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 2019, then were asked to complete the questionnaires measuring self-oriented empathy, compassion fatigue, dispositional mindfulness, and counselor’s self-efficacy. Structural equation modeling was utilized to analyze (...)
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  23. Complex Inferential Processes Are Needed for Implicature Comprehension, but Not for Implicature Production.Irene Mognon, Simone A. Sprenger, Sanne J. M. Kuijper & Petra Hendriks - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Upon hearing “Some of Michelangelo’s sculptures are in Rome,” adults can easily generate a scalar implicature and infer that the intended meaning of the utterance corresponds to “Some but not all Michelangelo’s sculptures are in Rome.” Comprehension experiments show that preschoolers struggle with this kind of inference until at least 5 years of age. Surprisingly, the few studies having investigated children’s production of scalar expressions like some and all suggest that production is adult-like already in their third year of life. (...)
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  24. Theory Theory (Simulation Theory, Theory of Mind).Louise Röska-Hardy - 2008 - In M. Binder, N. Hirokawa, U. Windhorst & H. Hirsch (eds.), Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. pp. 4064-4067.
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  25. Compassion: From Its Evolution to a Psychotherapy.Paul Gilbert - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The concept, benefits and recommendations for the cultivation of compassion have been recognized in the contemplative traditions for thousands of years. In the last 30 years or so, the study of compassion has revealed it to have major physiological and psychological effects influencing well-being, addressing mental health difficulties, and promoting prosocial behavior. This paper outlines an evolution informed biopsychosocial, multicomponent model to caring behavior and its derivative “compassion” that underpins newer approaches to psychotherapy. The paper explores the origins of caring (...)
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  26. The Situational Mental File Account of the False Belief Tasks: A New Solution of the Paradox of False Belief Understanding.Albert Newen & Julia Wolf - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):717-744.
    How can we solve the paradox of false-belief understanding: if infants pass the implicit false belief task by nonverbal behavioural responses why do they nonetheless typically fail the explicit FBT till they are 4 years old? Starting with the divide between situational and cognitive accounts of the development of false-belief understanding, we argue that we need to consider both situational and internal cognitive factors together and describe their interaction to adequately explain the development of children’s Theory of Mind ability. We (...)
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  27. Propositional Attitudes as Self-Ascriptions.Angela Mendelovici - 2020 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Essays in Honor of Lynne Rudder Baker. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 54-74.
    According to Lynne Rudder Baker’s Practical Realism, we know that we have beliefs, desires, and other propositional attitudes independent of any scientific investigation. Propositional attitudes are an indispensable part of our everyday conception of the world and not in need of scientific validation. This paper asks what is the nature of the attitudes such that we may know them so well from a commonsense perspective. I argue for a self-ascriptivist view, on which we have propositional attitudes in virtue of ascribing (...)
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  28. Social Cognition and Theory of Mind.Evan Westra - 2021 - In Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction. Routledge.
    ‘Social cognition’ refers to the psychological capacities that humans and other animals use to reason about other agents and navigate complex social environments. This chapter focuses on the dominant approach to social cognition in contemporary cognitive science, which is centered around a capacity known as theory of mind or mindreading. Subjects covered include the false-belief task, the social brain network, mirror neurons, major accounts of theory of mind, objections to the theory-of-mind framework, mindreading in non-human animals, and new research on (...)
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  29. Mapping the Minds of Others.Alexandria Boyle - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):747-767.
    Mindreaders can ascribe representational states to others. Some can ascribe representational states – states with semantic properties like accuracy-aptness. I argue that within this group of mindreaders, there is substantial room for variation – since mindreaders might differ with respect to the representational format they take representational states to have. Given that formats differ in their formal features and expressive power, the format one takes mental states to have will significantly affect the range of mental state attributions one can make, (...)
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  30. Attributing Awareness to Others: The Attention Schema Theory and Its Relationship to Behavioural Prediction.M. S. A. Graziano - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (3-4):17-37.
    The attention schema theory provides a single coherent framework for understanding three seemingly unrelated phenomena. The first is our ability to control our own attention through predictive modelling. The second is a fundamental part of social cognition, or theory of mind — our ability to reconstruct the attention of others, and to use that model of attention to help make behavioural predictions about others. The third is our claim to have a subjective consciousness -- not merely information inside us, but (...)
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  31. A Neuroscientific Perspective on the Nature of Altered Self-Other Relationships in Schizophrenia.S. J. H. Ebisch & V. Gallese - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):220-240.
    By empirically investigating the neural correlates of the basic experience one makes of oneself as bodily self and of its alterations, new light can be shed on the relationship between self-disturbances and social deficits in schizophrenia. We review recent neuroscientific evidence showing how a pre-reflective, experiential understanding of others can be accomplished, so that others are conceived as bodily selves by means of neural reuse of our own sensorimotor and visceromotor resources, and how a clear distinction between self and other (...)
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  32. Pathologies of Intersubjectivity in Autism and Schizophrenia.T. Fuchs - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):191-214.
    Most mental disorders include more or less profound disturbances of intersubjectivity, that means, a restricted capacity to respond to the social environment in a flexible way and to reach a shared understanding through adequate interaction with others. Current concepts of intersubjectivity are mainly based on a mentalistic approach, assuming that the hidden mental states of others may only be inferred from their external bodily behaviour through 'mentalizing' or 'mindreading'. On this basis, disorders of intersubjectivity for example in autism or schizophrenia (...)
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  33. How Beliefs are like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief (...)
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  34. Causing Trouble: Theories of Reference and Theory of Mind.J. Robert Thompson - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (1):119-130.
    Michael and MacLeod’s paper on theories of reference for intentional concepts addresses neglected connections between theories of reference and Theory of Mind debates. Unfortunately, their paper neither shows the negative effects of descriptivism on theories of reference for intentional concepts nor provides an adequate picture of how the sort of theory they advocate might explain either the reference of intentional concepts or the puzzles of development on which they focus. In this article, I give reasons to think that the prospects (...)
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  35. Constructing a social subject: Autism and human sociality in the 1980s.Gregory Hollin - 2014 - History of the Human Sciences 27 (4):98-115.
    This article examines three key aetiological theories of autism, which emerged within cognitive psychology in the latter half of the 1980s. Drawing upon Foucault’s notion of ‘forms of possible knowledge’, and in particular his concept of savoir or depth knowledge, two key claims are made. First, it is argued that a particular production of autism became available to questions of truth and falsity following a radical reconstruction of ‘the social’ in which human sociality was taken both to exclusively concern interpersonal (...)
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  36. Varieties of off-line simulation.Alan M. Leslie, Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich & David B. Klein - 1996 - In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 39-74.
    In the last few years, off-line simulation has become an increasingly important alternative to standard explanations in cognitive science. The contemporary debate began with Gordon (1986) and Goldman's (1989) off-line simulation account of our capacity to predict behavior. On their view, in predicting people's behavior we take our own decision making system `off line' and supply it with the `pretend' beliefs and desires of the person whose behavior we are trying to predict; we then let the decision maker reach a (...)
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The Nature of Folk Psychology
  1. Modeling Action: Recasting the Causal Theory.Megan Fritts & Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Contemporary action theory is generally concerned with giving theories of action ontology. In this paper, we make the novel proposal that the standard view in action theory—the Causal Theory of Action—should be recast as a “model”, akin to the models constructed and investigated by scientists. Such models often consist in fictional, hypothetical, or idealized structures, which are used to represent a target system indirectly via some resemblance relation. We argue that recasting the Causal Theory as a model can not only (...)
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  2. On the Irreducibility of Attitudinal Imagining.Alon Chasid - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy:1-33.
    This paper argues against the view, proposed in Langland-Hassan (2020), that attitudinal imaginings are reducible to basic folk-psychological attitudes such as judgments, beliefs, desires, decisions, or combinations thereof. The proposed reduction fails because attitudinal imaginings, though similar to basic attitudes in certain respects, function differently than basic attitudes. I demonstrate this by exploring two types of cases: spontaneous imaginings, and imaginings that arise in response to fiction, showing that in these cases, imaginings cannot be identified with basic attitudes. I conclude (...)
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  3. Delusion and Double Bookkeeping.José Eduardo Porcher - forthcoming - In Ema Sullivan Bissett (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Delusion. Routledge.
    This chapter connects the phenomenon of double bookkeeping to two critical debates in the philosophy of delusion: one from the analytic tradition and one from the phenomenological tradition. First, I will show how the failure of action guidance on the part of some delusions suggests an argument to the standard view that delusions are beliefs (doxasticism about delusion) and how its proponents have countered it by ascribing behavioral inertia to avolition, emotional disturbances, or a failure of the surrounding environment in (...)
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  4. Why dispositionalism needs interpretivism: a reply to Poslajko.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (4):2139-2145.
    I have proposed wedding the theories of belief known as dispositionalism and interpretivism. Krzysztof Poslajko objects that dispositionalism does just fine on its own and, moreover, is better off without interpretivism’s metaphysical baggage. I argue that Poslajko is wrong: in order to secure a principled criterion for individuating beliefs, dispositionalism must either collapse into psychofunctionalism (or some other non-superficial theory) or accept interpretivism’s hand in marriage.
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  5. Understanding implicit bias: A case for regulative dispositionalism.Annemarie Kalis & Harmen Ghijsen - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (8):1212-1233.
    What attitude does someone manifesting implicit bias really have? According to the default representationalist picture, implicit bias involves having conflicting attitudes (explicit versus implicit) with respect to the topic at hand. In opposition to this orthodoxy, dispositionalists argue that attitudes should be understood as higher-level dispositional features of the person as a whole. Following this metaphysical view, the discordance characteristic of implicit bias shows that someone’s attitude regarding the topic at hand is not-fully-manifested or ‘in-between’. However, so far few representationalists (...)
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  6. Belief in character studies.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):27-42.
    In Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee reveals that American man of integrity Atticus Finch harbors deep-seated racist beliefs. Bob Ewell, Finch's nemesis in To Kill a Mockingbird, harbors the same beliefs. But the two men live out their shared racist beliefs in dramatically different fashions. This article argues that extant dispositionalist accounts of belief lack the tools to accommodate Finch and Ewell's divergent styles of believing. It then draws on literary and philosophical character studies to construct the required tools.
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  7. Ontology after Folk Psychology; or, Why Eliminativists should be Mental Fictionalists.T. Parent - manuscript
    Mental fictionalism holds that folk psychology should be regarded as a kind of fiction. The present version gives a Lewisian prefix semantics for mentalistic discourse, where roughly, a mentalistic sentence “p” is true iff “p” is deducible from the folk psychological fiction. An eliminativist version of the view can seem self-refuting, but this charge is neutralized. Yet a different kind of “self-effacing” emerges: Mental fictionalism appears to be a mere “parasite” on a future science of cognition, without contributing anything substantial. (...)
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  8. Implicit Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Implicit Cognition. Routledge.
    Positing implicit social cognitive processes is common in the social cognition literature. We see it in discussions of theories of mentalizing, empathy, and infants' social-cognitive capacities. However, there is little effort to articulate what counts as implicit social cognition in general, so theorizing about implicit social cognition is extremely disparate across each of these sub-domains. In this paper, I argue that Michael Brownstein’s account of implicit cognition promises to be a fruitful, unifying account of implicit cognition in general, and it (...)
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  9. g as bridge model.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1067-1078.
    Psychometric g—a statistical factor capturing intercorrelations between scores on different IQ tests—is of theoretical interest despite being a low-fidelity model of both folk psychological intelligence and its cognitive/neural underpinnings. Psychometric g idealizes away from those aspects of cognitive/neural mechanisms that are not explanatory of the relevant variety of folk psychological intelligence, and it idealizes away from those varieties of folk psychological intelligence that are not generated by the relevant cognitive/neural substrate. In this manner, g constitutes a high-fidelity bridge model of (...)
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  10. Eliminative materialism and the distinction between common sense and science.Nada Gligorov - 2007 - Dissertation,
    It is one of the premises of eliminative materialism that commonsense psychology constitutes a theory. There is agreement that mental states can be construed as posited entities for the explanation and prediction of behavior. Disputes arise when it comes to the range of the commonsense theory of mental states. In chapter one, I review major arguments concerning the span and nature of folk psychology. In chapter two, relying on arguments by Quine and Sellars, I argue that the precise scope of (...)
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  11. Too Many Cooks: Bayesian Inference for Coordinating Multi‐Agent Collaboration.Sarah A. Wu, Rose E. Wang, James A. Evans, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, David C. Parkes & Max Kleiman-Weiner - 2021 - Topics in Cognitive Science 13 (2):414-432.
    Collaboration requires agents to coordinate their behavior on the fly, sometimes cooperating to solve a single task together and other times dividing it up into sub‐tasks to work on in parallel. Underlying the human ability to collaborate is theory‐of‐mind (ToM), the ability to infer the hidden mental states that drive others to act. Here, we develop Bayesian Delegation, a decentralized multi‐agent learning mechanism with these abilities. Bayesian Delegation enables agents to rapidly infer the hidden intentions of others by inverse planning. (...)
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  12. Traits, beliefs and dispositions in a pluralistic folk psychology.Harmen Ghijsen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5395-5413.
    According to pluralistic folk psychology (PFP) we make use of a variety of methods to predict and explain each other, only one of which makes use of attributing propositional attitudes. I discuss three related problems for this view: first, the prediction problem, according to which (some of) PFP’s methods of prediction only work if they also assume a tacit attribution of propositional attitudes; second, the interaction problem, according to which PFP cannot explain how its different methods of prediction and explanation (...)
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  13. Folk Psychology, Eliminativism, and the Present State of Connectionism.Vanja Subotić - 2021 - Theoria: Beograd 1 (64):173-196.
    Three decades ago, William Ramsey, Steven Stich & Joseph Garon put forward an argument in favor of the following conditional: if connectionist models that implement parallelly distributed processing represent faithfully human cognitive processing, eliminativism about propositional attitudes is true. The corollary of their argument (if it proves to be sound) is that there is no place for folk psychology in contemporary cognitive science. This understanding of connectionism as a hypothesis about cognitive architecture compatible with eliminativism is also endorsed by Paul (...)
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  14. Knowledge and the Brain: Why the Knowledge-Centric Theory of Mind Program Needs Neuroscience.Adam Michael Bricker - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    The knowledge-centric Theory of Mind research program suggested by Phillips et al. stands to gain significant value by embracing a neurocognitive approach that takes full advantage of techniques like fMRI and EEG. This neurocognitive approach has already begun providing important insights into the mechanisms of knowledge attribution, insights which support the claim that it is more basic than belief attribution.
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