Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):213-230 (2012)
AbstractPhilosophers and psychologists have often maintained that in order to attribute mental states to other people one must have a ‘theory of mind’. This theory facilitates our grasp of other people’s mental states. Debate has then focussed on the form this theory should take. Recently a new approach has been suggested, which I call the ‘Direct Perception approach to social cognition’. This approach maintains that we can directly perceive other people’s mental states. It opposes traditional views on two counts: by claiming that mental states are observable and by claiming that we can attribute them to others without the need for a theory of mind. This paper argues that there are two readings of the direct perception claims: a strong and a weak one. The Theory-theory is compatible with the weak version but not the strong one. The paper argues that the strong version of direct perception is untenable, drawing on evidence from the mirror neuron literature and arguments from the philosophy of science and perception to support this claim. It suggests that one traditional ‘theory of mind’ view, the ‘Theory-theory’ view, is compatible with the claim that mental states are observable, and concludes that direct perception views do not offer a viable alternative to theory of mind approaches to social cognition
Similar books and articles
Folk Psychological and Phenomenological Accounts of Social Perception.Mitchell Herschbach - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):223 – 235.
Embodiment and the Perceptual Hypothesis.William E. S. McNeill - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):569 - 591.
What is Wrong with the Appendage Theory of Consciousness?Thomas Natsoulas - 1993 - Philosophical Psychology 6 (2):137-54.
The Phenomenology of Person Perception.Joel Krueger - 2014 - In Mark Bruhn & Donald Wehrs (eds.), Neuroscience, Literature, and History. Routledge. pp. 153-173.
Problemas del empirismo en la filosofía de la mente.Jose S. Pescador Hierro - 1997 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):35-49.
Is Egocentric Bias Evidence for Simulation Theory.Annika Wallin - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):503-514.
An Empirical Refutation of the Direct Realist Theory of Perception.J. R. Smythies & Vilayanur S. Ramachandran - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):437-438.
Mind Ascribed. An Elaboration and Defence of Interpretivism.Bruno Mölder - 2010 - John Benjamins.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
On Whether We Can See Intentions.Shannon Spaulding - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2):150-170.
Social Constraints on the Direct Perception of Emotions and Intentions.Shaun Gallagher & Somogy Varga - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):185-199.
The Interactive Turn in Social Cognition Research: A Critique.Søren Overgaard & John Michael - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):160-183.
Theory of Mind and the Unobservability of Other Minds.Vivian Bohl & Nivedita Gangopadhyay - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):203-222.
References found in this work
The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception: Classic Edition.James J. Gibson - 1979 - Houghton Mifflin.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind.Paul M. Churchland - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Patterns of Discovery: An Inquiry Into the Conceptual Foundations of Science.Norwood Russell Hanson - 1958 - Cambridge University Press.