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  1. A Pluralistic Framework for the Psychology of Norms.Evan Westra & Kristin Andrews - forthcoming - Biology and Philosophy.
    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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  • Stereotypes, Theory of Mind, and the Action–Prediction Hierarchy.Evan Westra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2821-2846.
    Both mindreading and stereotyping are forms of social cognition that play a pervasive role in our everyday lives, yet too little attention has been paid to the question of how these two processes are related. This paper offers a theory of the influence of stereotyping on mental-state attribution that draws on hierarchical predictive coding accounts of action prediction. It is argued that the key to understanding the relation between stereotyping and mindreading lies in the fact that stereotypes centrally involve character-trait (...)
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  • Consciousness, objectivity, and bias in comparative psychology: Kristin Andrews: How to study animal minds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020, 76 pp, $20 PB. [REVIEW]Samuel Murray - 2022 - Metascience 31 (2):211-214.
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  • Belief.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Folk Psychology as a Theory.Ian Martin Ravenscroft - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Many philosophers and cognitive scientists claim that our everyday or "folk" understanding of mental states constitutes a theory of mind. That theory is widely called "folk psychology" (sometimes "commonsense" psychology). The terms in which folk psychology is couched are the familiar ones of "belief" and "desire", "hunger", "pain" and so forth. According to many theorists, folk psychology plays a central role in our capacity to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and others. However, the nature and status of folk (...)
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  • Animal Consciousness.Colin Allen & Michael Trestman - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Animal Cognition.Kristin Andrews - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Entry for the Stanford Encylcopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Mirroring, Mindreading and Smart Behaviour-Reading.Emma Borg - unknown
    This paper examines the claim that mirror neuron activity is the mechanism by which we come to know about the action-related intentions of others, i.e. that they are a mechanism for ‘mindreading’. I agree with recent authors who reject this view but nevertheless I argue that mirror neurons may still have a role to play in the ways in which we understand one another. If we adopt a certain kind of pluralism about social cognition then the mirror neuron system could (...)
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  • Constructing Persons: On the Personal–Subpersonal Distinction.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-29.
    What’s the difference between those psychological posits that are ‘me’ and those that are not? Distinguishing between these psychological kinds is important in many domains, but an account of what the distinction consists in is challenging. I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I suggest that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level—the plurality problem. The things that plausibly qualify (...)
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  • On Deflationary Accounts of Human Action Understanding.Emma Borg - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):503-522.
    A common deflationary tendency has emerged recently in both philosophical accounts and comparative animal studies concerned with how subjects understand the actions of others. The suggestion emerging from both arenas is that the default mechanism for understanding action involves only a sensitivity to the observable, behavioural features of a situation. This kind of ‘smart behaviour reading’ thus suggests that, typically, predicting or explaining the behaviour of conspecifics does not require seeing the other through the lens of mental state attribution. This (...)
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  • Morgan’s Canon, Meet Hume’s Dictum: Avoiding Anthropofabulation in Cross-Species Comparisons.Cameron Buckner - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):853-871.
    How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...)
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  • Introduction to Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches.Kristin Andrews, Shannon Spaulding & Evan Westra - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1685-1700.
    This introduction to the topical collection, Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches reviews the origins and basic theoretical tenets of the framework of pluralistic folk psychology. It places special emphasis on pluralism about the variety folk psychological strategies that underlie behavioral prediction and explanation beyond belief-desire attribution, and on the diverse range of social goals that folk psychological reasoning supports beyond prediction and explanation. Pluralism is not presented as a single theory or model of social cognition, but rather as a big-tent research (...)
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  • Reclaiming Control: Extended Mindreading and the Tracking of Digital Footprints.Uwe Peters - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (3):267-282.
    It is well known that on the Internet, computer algorithms track our website browsing, clicks, and search history to infer our preferences, interests, and goals. The nature of this algorithmic tracking remains unclear, however. Does it involve what many cognitive scientists and philosophers call ‘mindreading’, i.e., an epistemic capacity to attribute mental states to people to predict, explain, or influence their actions? Here I argue that it does. This is because humans are in a particular way embedded in the process (...)
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  • Conceptual Analysis and Empirical Observations of Animal Minds.Ricardo Parellada - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2197-2210.
    The relation between conceptual analysis and empirical observations when ascribing or denying concepts and beliefs to non-human animals is not straightforward. In order to reflect on this relation, I focus on two theoretical proposals and one empirical case, the three of which are permanently discussed and considered in the literature on animal cognition. First, I review briefly Davidson’s arguments for denying thought to non-linguistic animals. Second, I review Allen’s criteria for ascribing concepts to creatures capable of correcting their discriminatory powers (...)
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  • Narratives, Culture, and Folk Psychology.Anika Fiebich - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):135-149.
    In this paper, I aim to determine to what extent contemporary cross-cultural and developmental research can shed light on the role that narrative practices might play in the development of folk psychology. In particular, I focus on the role of narrative practices in the development of false belief understanding, which has been regarded as a milestone in the development of folk psychology. Second, I aim to discuss possible cognitive procedures that may underlie successful performance in false belief tasks. Methodologically, I (...)
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  • How Children Approach the False Belief Test: Social Development, Pragmatics, and the Assembly of Theory of Mind.Marco Fenici - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (1):181-201.
    Evidence from the knowledge access task and the diverse belief task suggests that, before age four, children may find it difficult to attribute false beliefs to others, despite demonstrating a basic comprehension of the concept of belief. Challenging this view, this article assumes a sociopragmatic perspective on language to argue that even children younger than four may not understand at all the concept of belief but may nevertheless master naïvely the pragmatics of belief reports in specific conversational contexts. The proposal (...)
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  • Science, Sentience, and Animal Welfare.Robert C. Jones - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):1-30.
    I sketch briefly some of the more influential theories concerned with the moral status of nonhuman animals, highlighting their biological/physiological aspects. I then survey the most prominent empirical research on the physiological and cognitive capacities of nonhuman animals, focusing primarily on sentience, but looking also at a few other morally relevant capacities such as self-awareness, memory, and mindreading. Lastly, I discuss two examples of current animal welfare policy, namely, animals used in industrialized food production and in scientific research. I argue (...)
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  • ¿Sólo El Hombre Puede Comprender Pensamientos de Otros? Lecturas de Pensamientos En Chimpancés.Fernando Marte - 2018 - Agora Philosophica 18 (38):87-117.
    Firstly, the article reviews the debate on the attribution of a theory of mind, also denominated mind-reading, to chimpanzees. It then presents two arguments defending the thesis that it is possible to legitimately attribute the capacity of mind-reading to chimpanzees. Finally, it reviews some philosophical models that may help to understand the mechanisms which are at the basis of such a cognitive ability in chimpanzees.
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  • Various Ways to Understand Other Minds: Towards a Pluralistic Approach to the Explanation of Social Understanding.Anika Fiebich & Max Coltheart - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):235-258.
    In this article, we propose a pluralistic approach to the explanation of social understanding that integrates literature from social psychology with the theory of mind debate. Social understanding in everyday life is achieved in various ways. As a rule of thumb we propose that individuals make use of whatever procedure is cognitively least demanding to them in a given context. Aside from theory and simulation, associations of behaviors with familiar agents play a crucial role in social understanding. This role has (...)
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  • The Evolution and Development of Visual Perspective Taking.Ben Phillips - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):183-204.
    I outline three conceptions of seeing that a creature might possess: ‘the headlamp conception,’ which involves an understanding of the causal connections between gazing at an object, certain mental states, and behavior; ‘the stage lights conception,’ which involves an understanding of the selective nature of visual attention; and seeing-as. I argue that infants and various nonhumans possess the headlamp conception. There is also evidence that chimpanzees and 3-year-old children have some grasp of seeing-as. However, due to a dearth of studies, (...)
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  • Communication Before Communicative Intention.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  • Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.
    This paper disputes the widespread assumption that beliefs and desires may be attributed as theoretical entities in the service of the explanation and predic- tion of human behavior. The literature contains no clear account of how beliefs and desires might generate actions, and there is good reason to deny that principles of rationality generate a choice on the basis of an agent’s beliefs and desires. An alter- native conception of beliefs and desires is here introduced, according to which an attribution (...)
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  • Enculturating Folk Psychologists.Victoria McGeer - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1039-1063.
    This paper argues that our folk-psychological expertise is a special case of extended and enculturated cognition where we learn to regulate both our own and others’ thought and action in accord with a wide array of culturally shaped folk-psychological norms. The view has three noteworthy features: it challenges a common assumption that the foundational capacity at work in folk-psychological expertise is one of interpreting behaviour in mentalistic terms, arguing instead that successful mindreading is largely a consequence of successful mindshaping; it (...)
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  • Social Cognition: a Normative Approach.Víctor Fernández Castro & Manuel Heras-Escribano - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (1):75-100.
    The main aim of this paper is to introduce an approach for understanding social cognition that we call the normative approach to social cognition. Such an approach, which results from a systematization of previous arguments and ideas from authors such as Ryle, Dewey, or Wittgenstein, is an alternative to the classic model and the direct social perception model. In section 2, we evaluate the virtues and flaws of these two models. In section 3, we introduce the normative approach, according to (...)
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  • The Personal and the Subpersonal in the Theory of Mind Debate.Kristina Musholt - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (2):305-324.
    It is a widely accepted assumption within the philosophy of mind and psychology that our ability for complex social interaction is based on the mastery of a common folk psychology, that is to say that social cognition consists in reasoning about the mental states of others in order to predict and explain their behavior. This, in turn, requires the possession of mental-state concepts, such as the concepts belief and desire. In recent years, this standard conception of social cognition has been (...)
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  • The Communicative Significance of Beliefs and Desires.Uku Tooming - 2014 - Dissertation, Universitatis Tartunesis
    When we think about what others believe and want, we are usually affected by what we know about their attitudes. If I’m aware that another person believes something, I have an opportunity to agree or disagree with it. If I think that another person wants something, I can endorse or disapprove of her desire. The importance of such reactions to attributed beliefs and desires has thus far been overlooked in philosophy of mind where the focus has been on explanatory and (...)
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  • In Defense of Pluralist Theory.Anika Fiebich - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6815-6834.
    In this article I defend pluralist theory against various objections. First, I argue that although traditional theories may also account for multiple ways to achieve social understanding, they still put some emphasis on one particular epistemic strategy. Pluralist theory, in contrast, rejects the so-called ‘default assumption’ that there is any primary or default method in social understanding. Second, I illustrate that pluralist theory needs to be distinguished from integration theory. On one hand, integration theory faces the difficulty of trying to (...)
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  • The Impact of Culture on Mindreading.Jane Suilin Lavelle - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6351-6374.
    The role of culture in shaping folk psychology and mindreading has been neglected in the philosophical literature. This paper shows that there are significant cultural differences in how psychological states are understood and used by drawing on Spaulding’s recent distinction between the ‘goals’ and ‘methods’ of mindreading to argue that the relations between these methods vary across cultures; and arguing that differences in folk psychology cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the cognitive architecture that facilitates our understanding of psychological states. (...)
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  • Anthropomorphism, Anthropectomy, and the Null Hypothesis.Kristin Andrews & Brian Huss - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (5):711-729.
    We examine the claim that the methodology of psychology leads to a bias in animal cognition research against attributing “anthropomorphic” properties to animals . This charge is examined in light of a debate on the role of folk psychology between primatologists who emphasize similarities between humans and other apes, and those who emphasize differences. We argue that while in practice there is sometimes bias, either in the formulation of the null hypothesis or in the preference of Type-II errors over Type-I (...)
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  • What Is Minimally Cooperative Behavior?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - In Anika Fiebich (ed.), Minimal Cooperation and Shared Agency. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 9-40.
    Cooperation admits of degrees. When factory workers stage a slowdown, they do not cease to cooperate with management in the production of goods altogether, but they are not fully cooperative either. Full cooperation implies that participants in a joint action are committed to rendering appropriate contributions as needed toward their joint end so as to bring it about, consistently with the type of action and the generally agreed upon constraints within which they work, as efficiently as they can, where their (...)
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  • Street Smarts.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):161-180.
    A pluralistic approach to folk psychology must countenance the evaluative, regulatory, predictive, and explanatory roles played by attributions of intelligence in social practices across cultures. Building off of the work of the psychologist Robert Sternberg and the philosophers Gilbert Ryle and Daniel Dennett, I argue that a relativistic interpretivism best accounts for the many varieties of intelligence that emerge from folk discourse. To be intelligent is to be comparatively good at solving intellectual problems that an interpreter deems worth solving.
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  • How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7889-7918.
    Double dissociations between perceivable colors and physical properties of colored objects have led many philosophers to endorse relationalist accounts of color. I argue that there are analogous double dissociations between attitudes of belief—the beliefs that people attribute to each other in everyday life—and intrinsic cognitive states of belief—the beliefs that some cognitive scientists posit as cogs in cognitive systems—pitched at every level of psychological explanation. These dissociations provide good reason to refrain from conflating attitudes of belief with intrinsic cognitive states (...)
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  • Traits, Beliefs and Dispositions in a Pluralistic Folk Psychology.Harmen Ghijsen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5395-5413.
    According to pluralistic folk psychology 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 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 can interact; and (...)
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  • Free Actions as a Natural Kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view (...)
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  • Action-based versus cognitivist perspectives on socio-cognitive development: culture, language and social experience within the two paradigms.Robert Mirski & Arkadiusz Gut - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5511-5537.
    Contemporary research on mindreading or theory of mind has resulted in three major findings: There is a difference in the age of passing of the elicited-response false belief task and its spontaneous–response version; 15-month-olds pass the latter while the former is passed only by 4-year-olds. Linguistic and social factors influence the development of the ability to mindread in many ways. There are cultures with folk psychologies significantly different from the Western one, and children from such cultures tend to show different (...)
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  • Theories of Understanding Others: The Need for a New Account and the Guiding Role of the Person Model Theory.Sabrina Coninx & Albert Newen - 2018 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 31:127-153.
    What would be an adequate theory of social understanding? In the last decade, the philosophical debate has focused on Theory Theory, Simulation Theory and Interaction Theory as the three possible candidates. In the following, we look carefully at each of these and describe its main advantages and disadvantages. Based on this critical analysis, we formulate the need for a new account of social understanding. We propose the Person Model Theory as an independent new account which has greater explanatory power compared (...)
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  • Mathematical Cognition: A Case of Enculturation.Richard Menary - 2015 - Open Mind.
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  • Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):850-877.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilbert Ryle’s alternative thesis that the folk construe beliefs as (...)
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  • Justification, Conversation, and Folk Psychology.Víctor Fernández Castro - 2019 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 34 (1):73-88.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a version of the so-called conversational hypothesis of the ontogenetic connection between language and mindreading (Harris 1996, 2005; Van Cleave and Gauker 2010; Hughes et al. 2006). After arguing against a particular way of understanding the hypothesis (the communicative view), I will start from the justificatory view in philosophy of social cognition (Andrews 2012; Hutto 2004; Zawidzki 2013) to make the case for the idea that the primary function of belief and desire (...)
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  • 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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  • The Rich Detail of Cultural Symbol Systems.Dwight W. Read - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):434-435.
    The goal of forming a science of intentional behavior requires a more richly detailed account of symbolic systems than is assumed by the authors. Cultural systems are not simply the equivalent in the ideational domain of culture of the purported Baldwin Effect in the genetic domain. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.
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  • Normative Practices of Other Animals.Sarah Vincent, Rebecca Ring & Kristin Andrews - 2018 - In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology. New York: pp. 57-83.
    Traditionally, discussions of moral participation – and in particular moral agency – have focused on fully formed human actors. There has been some interest in the development of morality in humans, as well as interest in cultural differences when it comes to moral practices, commitments, and actions. However, until relatively recently, there has been little focus on the possibility that nonhuman animals have any role to play in morality, save being the objects of moral concern. Moreover, when nonhuman cases are (...)
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  • Getting It Together: Psychological Unity and Deflationary Accounts of Animal Metacognition.Gary Comstock & William A. Bauer - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):431-451.
    Experimenters claim some nonhuman mammals have metacognition. If correct, the results indicate some animal minds are more complex than ordinarily presumed. However, some philosophers argue for a deflationary reading of metacognition experiments, suggesting that the results can be explained in first-order terms. We agree with the deflationary interpretation of the data but we argue that the metacognition research forces the need to recognize a heretofore underappreciated feature in the theory of animal minds, which we call Unity. The disparate mental states (...)
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  • The Expressive Function of Folk Psychology.Victor Fernandez Castro - 2017 - Filosofia Unisinos 18 (1).
    The aim of this paper is to present a challenge to the received view in folk psychology. According to this challenge, the semantic assumption behind the received view, which considers that propositional attitude ascriptions are descriptions of the internal causally efficacious states underlying behavior, cannot account for the main function of reasons in terms of mental states.
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  • Pluralistická odpověď na otázku obsahu lidové psychologie.Matěj Dražil - 2021 - Pro-Fil 22 (1):1.
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  • Minimal Mindreading and Animal Cognition.Anna Strasser - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (4):541-565.
    Human and non-human animals are social beings, both have social interactions. The ability to anticipate behavior of others is a fundamental requirement of social interactions. However, there are several ways of how agents can succeed in this. Two modes of anticipation, namely mindreading and behavior-reading, shape the animal mindreading debate. As a matter of fact, no position has yet convincingly ruled out the other. This paper suggests a strategy of how to argue for a mentalistic interpretation as opposed to a (...)
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  • Beyond Cognition: Philosophical Issues in Autism.Emma Peng Chien - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Alberta
    This dissertation explores philosophical issues in autism and defends a new version of the enactive approach to autism and social cognition. The discussion in this dissertation centres around the question “why do autistics encounter social interaction problems?”, addressing this question in ways that raise broader philosophical issues. Within the philosophy of mind, these include the problem of other minds, the nature of emotions, and narratives and their role in understanding the self. Beyond cognition, such issues are intertwined with questions in (...)
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  • Making Ranking Theory Useful for Psychology of Reasoning.Niels Skovgaard Olsen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Konstanz
    An organizing theme of the dissertation is the issue of how to make philosophical theories useful for scientific purposes. An argument for the contention is presented that it doesn’t suffice merely to theoretically motivate one’s theories, and make them compatible with existing data, but that philosophers having this aim should ideally contribute to identifying unique and hard to vary predictions of their theories. This methodological recommendation is applied to the ranking-theoretic approach to conditionals, which emphasizes the epistemic relevance and the (...)
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  • The Fallacy of the Homuncular Fallacy.Carrie Figdor - 2018 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 31:41-56.
    A leading theoretical framework for naturalistic explanation of mind holds that we explain the mind by positing progressively "stupider" capacities ("homunculi") until the mind is "discharged" by means of capacities that are not intelligent at all. The so-called homuncular fallacy involves violating this procedure by positing the same capacities at subpersonal levels. I argue that the homuncular fallacy is not a fallacy, and that modern-day homunculi are idle posits. I propose an alternative view of what naturalism requires that reflects how (...)
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  • Against a Normative View of Folk Psychology.Meredith R. Wilkinson - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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