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  1. 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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  • 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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  • What is the Role of Experience in Children's Success in the False Belief Test: Maturation, Facilitation, Attunement or Induction?Marco Fenici - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (3):308-337.
    According to a widely shared view, experience plays only a limited role in children's acquisition of the capacity to pass the false belief test: at most, it facilitates or attunes the development of mindreading abilities from infancy to early childhood. Against the facilitation—and also the maturation—hypothesis, I report empirical data attesting that children and even adults never come to understand false beliefs when deprived of proper social and linguistic interaction. In contrast to the attunement hypothesis, I argue that alleged mindreading (...)
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  • The Developmental Paradox of False Belief Understanding: A Dual-System Solution.L. C. De Bruin & A. Newen - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3).
    We explore the developmental paradox of false belief understanding. This paradox follows from the claim that young infants already have an understanding of false belief, despite the fact that they consistently fail the elicited-response false belief task. First, we argue that recent proposals to solve this paradox are unsatisfactory because they (i) try to give a full explanation of false belief understanding in terms of a single system, (ii) fail to provide psychological concepts that are sufficiently fine-grained to capture the (...)
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  • Can We Forget What We Know in a False‐Belief Task? An Investigation of the True‐Belief Default.Paula Rubio-Fernández - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (1):218-241.
    It has been generally assumed in the Theory of Mind literature of the past 30 years that young children fail standard false-belief tasks because they attribute their own knowledge to the protagonist. Contrary to the traditional view, we have recently proposed that the children's bias is task induced. This alternative view was supported by studies showing that 3 year olds are able to pass a false-belief task that allows them to focus on the protagonist, without drawing their attention to the (...)
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  • Signature Limits in Mindreading Systems.J. Robert Thompson - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (7):1432-1455.
    Recent evidence that young children seem to both understand false belief in one sense, but not in another, has led to two-systems theorizing about mindreading. By analyzing the most detailed two-systems approach in studying social cognition—the theory of mindreading defended by Ian Apperly and Stephen Butterfill—I argue that that even when dutifully constructed, two-systems approaches in social cognition struggle to adequately define the mindreading systems in terms of signature processing limits, an issue that becomes most apparent when investigating mindreading in (...)
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  • Culturally Embedded Schemata for False Belief Reasoning.Leda Berio - 2020 - Synthese (Special Issue: THE CULTURAL EVOL):1-30.
    I argue that both language acquisition and cultural and social factors contribute to the formation of schemata that facilitate false belief reasoning. While the proposal for an active role of language acquisition in this sense has been partially advanced by several voices in the mentalizing debate, I argue that other accounts addressing this issue present some shortcomings. Specifically, I analyze the existing proposals distinguishing between “structure-oriented” views :1858–1878, 2007; de Villiers in Why language matters for theory of mind. Oxford University (...)
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  • The Cognitive Foundations of Visual Consciousness: Why Should We Favour a Processing Approach?Francesco Marchi & Albert Newen - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (2):247-264.
    How can we investigate the foundations of consciousness? In addressing this question, we will focus on the two main strategies that authors have adopted so far. On the one hand, there is research aimed at characterizing a specific content, which should account for conscious states. We may call this the content approach. On the other hand, one finds the processing approach, which proposes to look for a particular way of processing to account for consciousness.. Our aim, in this paper, is (...)
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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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  • Rappresentazione tacita della conoscenza e interpretazione delle capacità di cognizione sociale nella prima infanzia.Marco Fenici - 2012 - Annali Del Dipartimento di Filosofia 18:197-216.
    Recent studies demonstrated that 15-month-olds selectively respond to others’ beliefs. According to an epistemic mentalist interpretation, this attests that 15-month-olds possess a rudimentary capacity to attribute beliefs. Weaker interpretations suggest instead that infants are only sensitive to others’ beliefs because they can detect their proximal correlates. These two opposed interpretations often appeal to principled objections. In contrast, I argue that the dispute can be brought back to its empirical basis if we clearly explain what it means having ‘tacit’ or ‘implicit’ (...)
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  • Il test della falsa credenza.Marco Fenici - 2013 - Analytical and Philosophical Explanation 8:1-56.
    La ricerca empirica nelle scienze cognitive può essere di supporto all’indagine filosofica sullo statuto ontologico e epistemologico dei concetti mentali, ed in particolare del concetto di credenza. Da oltre trent’anni gli psicologi utilizzano il test della falsa credenza per valutare la capacità dei bambini di attribuire stati mentali a se stessi e a agli altri. Tuttavia non è stato ancora pienamente compreso né quali requisiti cognitivi siano necessari per passare il test né quale sia il loro sviluppo. In questo articolo (...)
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  • Pragmatics in the False-Belief Task: Let the Robot Ask the Question!Jean Baratgin, Marion Dubois-Sage, Baptiste Jacquet, Jean-Louis Stilgenbauer & Frank Jamet - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The poor performances of typically developing children younger than 4 in the first-order false-belief task “Maxi and the chocolate” is analyzed from the perspective of conversational pragmatics. An ambiguous question asked by an adult experimenter can receive different interpretations based on a search for relevance, by which children according to their age attribute different intentions to the questioner, within the limits of their own meta-cognitive knowledge. The adult experimenter tells the child the following story of object-transfer: “Maxi puts his chocolate (...)
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  • Prediction Error Minimization as a Framework for Social Cognition Research.Leon de Bruin & John Michael - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):1-20.
    The main aim of this article is to give an assessment of prediction error minimization as a unifying theoretical framework for the study of social cognition. We show how this framework can be used to synthesize and systematically relate existing data from social cognition research, and explain how it introduces new constraints for further research. We discuss PEM in relation to other theoretical frameworks of social cognition, and identify the main challenges that this approach to social cognition will need to (...)
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  • 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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  • Anxiety Impairs Spontaneous Perspective Calculation: Evidence From a Level-1 Visual Perspective-Taking Task.Andrew R. Todd & Austin J. Simpson - 2016 - Cognition 156:88-94.
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  • Efficient Belief Tracking in Adults: The Role of Task Instruction, Low-Level Associative Processes and Dispositional Social Functioning.Gaëlle Meert, Jessica Wang & Dana Samson - 2017 - Cognition 168:91-98.
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  • Is Goal Ascription Possible in Minimal Mindreading?Stephen A. Butterfill & Ian A. Apperly - 2016 - Psychological Review 123 (2):228-233.
    In this response to the commentary by Michael and Christensen, we first explain how minimal mindreading is compatible with the development of increasingly sophisticated mindreading behaviours that involve both executive functions and general knowledge, and then sketch one approach to a minimal account of goal ascription.
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  • Belief Files in Theory of Mind Reasoning.Ágnes Kovács - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):509-527.
    Humans seem to readily track their conspecifics’ mental states, such as their goals and beliefs from early infancy. However, the underlying cognitive architecture that enables such powerful abilities remains unclear. Here I will propose that a basic representational structure, the belief file, could provide the foundation for efficiently encoding, and updating information about, others’ beliefs in online social interactions. I will discuss the representational possibilities offered by the belief file and the ways in which the repertoire of mental state reasoning (...)
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  • A Simple Explanation of Apparent Early Mindreading: Infants’ Sensitivity to Goals and Gaze Direction.Marco Fenici - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):497-515.
    According to a widely shared interpretation, research employing spontaneous-response false belief tasks demonstrates that infants as young as 15 months attribute (false) beliefs. In contrast with this conclusion, I advance an alternative reading of the empirical data. I argue that infants constantly form and update their expectations about others’ behaviour and that this ability extends in the course of development to reflect an appreciation of what others can and cannot see. These basic capacities account for infants’ performance in spontaneous-response false (...)
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  • Social Cognitive Abilities in Infancy: Is Mindreading the Best Explanation?Marco Fenici - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):387-411.
    I discuss three arguments that have been advanced in support of the epistemic mentalist view, i.e., the view that infants' social cognitive abilities manifest a capacity to attribute beliefs. The argument from implicitness holds that SCAs already reflect the possession of an “implicit” and “rudimentary” capacity to attribute representational states. Against it, I note that SCAs are significantly limited, and have likely evolved to respond to contextual information in situated interaction with others. I challenge the argument from parsimony by claiming (...)
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  • Perspective Tracking in Progress: Do Not Disturb.Paula Rubio-Fernández - 2013 - Cognition 129 (2):264-272.
  • Two Systems for Mindreading?Peter Carruthers - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):141-162.
    A number of two-systems accounts have been proposed to explain the apparent discrepancy between infants’ early success in nonverbal mindreading tasks, on the one hand, and the failures of children younger than four to pass verbally-mediated false-belief tasks, on the other. Many of these accounts have not been empirically fruitful. This paper focuses, in contrast, on the two-systems proposal put forward by Ian Apperly and colleagues. This has issued in a number of new findings. The present paper shows that the (...)
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  • Early False-Belief Understanding.Rose M. Scott & Renée Baillargeon - 2017 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 21 (4):237-249.
  • Mindreading in Adults: Evaluating Two-Systems Views.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):673-688.
    A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently (...)
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