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  1. 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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  • 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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  • A Unified Account of General Learning Mechanisms and Theory‐of‐Mind Development.Theodore Bach - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (3):351-381.
    Modularity theorists have challenged that there are, or could be, general learning mechanisms that explain theory-of-mind development. In response, supporters of the ‘scientific theory-theory’ account of theory-of-mind development have appealed to children's use of auxiliary hypotheses and probabilistic causal modeling. This article argues that these general learning mechanisms are not sufficient to meet the modularist's challenge. The article then explores an alternative domain-general learning mechanism by proposing that children grasp the concept belief through the progressive alignment of relational structure that (...)
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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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  • The Social Cover View: A Non-Epistemic Approach to Mindreading.Manuel Almagro Holgado & Víctor Fernandez Castro - 2019 - Philosophia 48 (2):483-505.
    Mindreading capacity has been widely understood as the human ability to gain knowledge about the inner processes and states of others that bring about the behavior of these agents. This paper argues against this epistemic view of mindreading on the basis of different empirical studies in linguistics and social and developmental psychology: we are systematically biased in attributing mental states, and many everyday uses of mental ascription sentences do not reflect an epistemic function in our social interactions. We introduce an (...)
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  • Folk Personality Psychology: Mindreading and Mindshaping in Trait Attribution.Evan Westra - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8213-8232.
    Character-trait attribution is an important component of everyday social cognition that has until recently received insufficient attention in traditional accounts of folk psychology. In this paper, I consider how the case of character-trait attribution fits into the debate between mindreading-based and broadly ‘pluralistic’ approaches to folk psychology. Contrary to the arguments of some pluralists, I argue that the evidence on trait understanding does not show that it is a distinct, non-mentalistic mode of folk-psychological reasoning, but rather suggests that traits are (...)
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  • Symposium on S. Butterfill and I. Apperly, "How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind".Stephen Butterfill, Ian Apperly, Hannes Rakoczy, Shannon Spaulding & Tadeusz Zawidzki - 2013 - Mind and Language Symposia at the Brains Blog.
  • 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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