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  1. How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    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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  2. You Are Just Being Emotional! Testimonial Injustice and Folk-Psychological Attributions.Rodrigo Díaz & Manuel Almagro - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Testimonial injustices occur when individuals from particular social groups are systematically and persistently given less credibility in their claims merely because of their group identity. Recent “pluralistic” approaches to folk psychology, by taking into account the role of stereotypes in how we understand others, have the power to explain how and why cases of testimonial injustice occur. If how we make sense of others’ behavior depends on assumptions about how individuals from certain groups think and act, this can explain why (...)
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  3. Feeling the Right Way: Normative Influences on People's Use of Emotion Concepts.Rodrigo Díaz & Kevin Reuter - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    It is generally assumed that emotion concepts are purely descriptive. However, recent investigations suggest that the concept of happiness includes information about the morality of the agent's life. In this study, we argue that normative influences on emotion concepts are not restricted to happiness and are not about moral norms. In a series of studies, we show that emotion attribution is influenced by whether the agent's psychological and bodily states fit the situation in which they are experienced. People consider that (...)
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  4. Representation and Misrepresentation of Knowledge.Mikkel Gerken - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    I argue for three points: First, evidence of the primacy of knowledge representation is not evidence of primacy of knowledge. Second, knowledge-oriented mindreading research should also focus on misrepresentations and biased representations of knowledge. Third, knowledge-oriented mindreading research must confront the problem of the gold standard that arises when disagreement about knowledge complicates the interpretation of empirical findings.
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  5. The Distinctive Character of Knowledge.Jennifer Nagel - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Because knowledge entails true belief, it is can be hard to explain why a given action is naturally seen as driven by one of these states as opposed to the other. A simpler and more radical characterization of knowledge helps to solve this problem while also shedding some light on what is special about social learning.
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  6. The Psychology of Epistemic Judgment.Jennifer Nagel & Jessica Wright - forthcoming - In Sarah K. Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd Edition.
    Human social intelligence includes a remarkable power to evaluate what people know and believe, and to assess the quality of well- or ill-formed beliefs. Epistemic evaluations emerge in a great variety of contexts, from moments of deliberate private reflection on tough theoretical questions, to casual social observations about what other people know and think. We seem to be able to draw systematic lines between knowledge and mere belief, to distinguish justified and unjustified beliefs, and to recognize some beliefs as delusional (...)
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  7. How I Know What You Know.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Mentalizing is our ability to infer agents’ mental states. Attributing beliefs, knowledge, desires, and intentions are frequently discussed forms of mentalizing. Attributing mentalistically loaded stereotypes, personality traits, and evaluating others’ rationality are forms of mentalizing, as well. This broad conception of mentalizing has interesting and important implications for social epistemology. Several topics in social epistemology involve judgments about others’ knowledge, rationality, and competence, e.g., peer disagreement, epistemic injustice, and identifying experts. Mentalizing is at the core of each of these debates. (...)
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  8. Other Minds Are Neither Seen Nor Inferred.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    How do we know about other minds on the basis of perception? The two most common answers to this question are that we literally perceive others' mental states, or that we infer their mental states on the basis of perceiving something else. In this paper, I argue for a different answer. On my view, we don't perceive mental states, and yet perceptual experiences often immediately justify mental state attributions. In a slogan: other minds are neither seen nor inferred. I argue (...)
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  9. Why is Knowledge Faster Than (True) Belief?Evan Westra - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Phillips and colleagues convincingly argue that knowledge attribution is a faster, more automatic form of mindreading than belief attribution. However, they do not explain what it is about knowledge attribution that lends it this cognitive advantage. I suggest an explanation of the knowledge-attribution advantage that would also help to distinguish it from belief-based and minimalist alternatives.
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  10. Mindreading in Conversation.Evan Westra & Jennifer Nagel - 2021 - Cognition 210:104618.
    How is human social intelligence engaged in the course of ordinary conversation? Standard models of conversation hold that language production and comprehension are guided by constant, rapid inferences about what other agents have in mind. However, the idea that mindreading is a pervasive feature of conversation is challenged by a large body of evidence suggesting that mental state attribution is slow and taxing, at least when it deals with propositional attitudes such as beliefs. Belief attributions involve contents that are decoupled (...)
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  11. The Neural and Cognitive Mechanisms of Knowledge Attribution: An EEG Study.Adam Michael Bricker - 2020 - Cognition 203:104412.
    Despite the ubiquity of knowledge attribution in human social cognition, its associated neural and cognitive mechanisms are poorly documented. A wealth of converging evidence in cognitive neuroscience has identified independent perspective-taking and inhibitory processes for belief attribution, but the extent to which these processes are shared by knowledge attribution isn't presently understood. Here, we present the findings of an EEG study designed to directly address this shortcoming. These findings suggest that belief attribution is not a component process in knowledge attribution, (...)
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  12. Vicarious Representation: A New Theory of Social Cognition.Bence Nanay - 2020 - Cognition 205:104451.
    Theory of mind, the attribution of mental states to others is one form of social cognition. The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of another, much simpler, form of social cognition, which I call vicarious representation. Vicarious representation is the attribution of other-centered properties to objects. This mental capacity is different from, and much simpler than, theory of mind as it does not imply the understanding (or representation) of the mental (or even perceptual) states of another agents. (...)
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  13. Getting to Know You: Accuracy and Error in Judgments of Character.Evan Westra - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (5):583-600.
    Character judgments play an important role in our everyday lives. However, decades of empirical research on trait attribution suggest that the cognitive processes that generate these judgments are prone to a number of biases and cognitive distortions. This gives rise to a skeptical worry about the epistemic foundations of everyday characterological beliefs that has deeply disturbing and alienating consequences. In this paper, I argue that this skeptical worry is misplaced: under the appropriate informational conditions, our everyday character-trait judgments are in (...)
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  14. 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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  15. Teleology and Mentalizing in the Explanation of Action.Uwe Peters - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):2941-2957.
    In empirically informed research on action explanation, philosophers and developmental psychologists have recently proposed a teleological account of the way in which we make sense of people’s intentional behavior. It holds that we typically don’t explain an agent’s action by appealing to her mental states but by referring to the objective, publically accessible facts of the world that count in favor of performing the action so as to achieve a certain goal. Advocates of the teleological account claim that this strategy (...)
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  16. The Complementarity of Mindshaping and Mindreading.Uwe Peters - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (3):533-549.
    Why do we engage in folk psychology, that is, why do we think about and ascribe propositional attitudes such as beliefs, desires, intentions etc. to people? On the standard view, folk psychology is primarily for mindreading, for detecting mental states and explaining and/or predicting people’s behaviour in terms of them. In contrast, McGeer (1996, 2007, 2015), and Zawidzki (2008, 2013) maintain that folk psychology is not primarily for mindreading but for mindshaping, that is, for moulding people’s behavior and minds (e.g., (...)
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  17. Explaining the Illusion of Asymmetric Insight.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):769-786.
    People tend to think that they know others better than others know them. This phenomenon is known as the “illusion of asymmetric insight.” While the illusion has been well documented by a series of recent experiments, less has been done to explain it. In this paper, we argue that extant explanations are inadequate because they either get the explanatory direction wrong or fail to accommodate the experimental results in a sufficiently nuanced way. Instead, we propose a new explanation that does (...)
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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Visually Perceiving the Intentions of Others.Grace Helton - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):243-264.
    I argue that we sometimes visually perceive the intentions of others. Just as we can see something as blue or as moving to the left, so too can we see someone as intending to evade detection or as aiming to traverse a physical obstacle. I consider the typical subject presented with the Heider and Simmel movie, a widely studied ‘animacy’ stimulus, and I argue that this subject mentally attributes proximal intentions to some of the objects in the movie. I further (...)
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  21. Theory, Simulation, and Neurological Similarity: Theory of Mind after 40 Years.Ali Yousefi Heris - 2018 - Eshare: An Iranian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):12-38.
    One of the central problems in cognitive science concerns our ability to understand others in terms of mental state attribution. We, humans, think of each other as having minds, an assumption which indeed forms the basis of our daily communication: by attributing mental state we understand and predict each other’s behavior. But what mechanisms underpin this ability? This is a question that has preoccupied philosophers and cognitive scientists for more than four decades. In this paper, I will examine two dominant (...)
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  22. Introspection, Mindreading, and the Transparency of Belief.Uwe Peters - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):1086-1102.
    This paper explores the nature of self-knowledge of beliefs by investigating the relationship between self-knowledge of beliefs and one's knowledge of other people's beliefs. It introduces and defends a new account of self-knowledge of beliefs according to which this type of knowledge is developmentally interconnected with and dependent on resources already used for acquiring knowledge of other people's beliefs, which is inferential in nature. But when these resources are applied to oneself, one attains and subsequently frequently uses a method for (...)
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  23. Two Epistemic Issues for a Narrative Argument Structure.Gilbert Plumer - 2018 - In Steve Oswald & Didier Maillat (eds.), Argumentation and Inference. Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Argumentation, Fribourg 2017, Vol. I. London, UK: College Publcations. pp. 519-526.
    The transcendental approach to understanding narrative argument derives from the idea that for any believable fictional narrative, we can ask—what principles or generalizations would have to be true of human nature in order for the narrative to be believable? I address two key issues: whether only realistic or realist fictional narratives are believable, and how could it be established that we have an intuitive, mostly veridical grasp of human nature that grounds believability?
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  24. Character and Theory of Mind: An Integrative Approach.Evan Westra - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1217-1241.
    Traditionally, theories of mindreading have focused on the representation of beliefs and desires. However, decades of social psychology and social neuroscience have shown that, in addition to reasoning about beliefs and desires, human beings also use representations of character traits to predict and interpret behavior. While a few recent accounts have attempted to accommodate these findings, they have not succeeded in explaining the relation between trait attribution and belief-desire reasoning. On my account, character-trait attribution is part of a hierarchical system (...)
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  25. Factive and Nonfactive Mental State Attribution.Jennifer Nagel - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (5):525-544.
    Factive mental states, such as knowing or being aware, can only link an agent to the truth; by contrast, nonfactive states, such as believing or thinking, can link an agent to either truths or falsehoods. Researchers of mental state attribution often draw a sharp line between the capacity to attribute accurate states of mind and the capacity to attribute inaccurate or “reality-incongruent” states of mind, such as false belief. This article argues that the contrast that really matters for mental state (...)
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  26. The Transcendental Argument of the Novel.Gilbert Plumer - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):148-167.
    Can fictional narration yield knowledge in a way that depends crucially on its being fictional? This is the hard question of literary cognitivism. It is unexceptional that knowledge can be gained from fictional literature in ways that are not dependent on its fictionality (e.g., the science in science fiction). Sometimes fictional narratives are taken to exhibit the structure of suppositional argument, sometimes analogical argument. Of course, neither structure is unique to narratives. The thesis of literary cognitivism would be supported if (...)
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  27. Review of The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker (2008).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    I start with some famous comments by the philosopher (psychologist) Ludwig Wittgenstein because Pinker shares with most people (due to the default settings of our evolved innate psychology) certain prejudices about the functioning of the mind and because Wittgenstein offers unique and profound insights into the workings of language, thought and reality (which he viewed as more or less coextensive) not found anywhere else. The last quote is the only reference Pinker makes to Wittgenstein in this volume, which is most (...)
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  28. Theory of Mind and Non-Human Intelligence.Brandon Tinklenberg - 2016 - Shakelford, T.K. And V.A.Weekes-Shakelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.
    Comparative cognition researchers have long been interested in the nature of nonhuman animal social capacities. One capacity has received prolonged attention: mindreading, or “theory of mind” as it’s also called, is often seen to be the ability to attribute mental states to others in the service of predicting and explaining behavior. This attention is garnered in no small measure from interest into what accounts for the distinctive features of human social cognition and what are the evolutionary origins of those features. (...)
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  29. Interpretive Sensory-Access Theory and Conscious Intentions.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (4):583–595.
    It is typically assumed that while we know other people’s mental states by observing and interpreting their behavior, we know our own mental states by introspection, i.e., without interpreting ourselves. In his latest book, The opacity of mind: An integrative theory of self-knowledge, Peter Carruthers (2011) argues against this assumption. He holds that findings from across the cognitive sciences strongly suggest that self-knowledge of conscious propositional attitudes such as intentions, judgments, and decisions involves a swift and unconscious process of self-interpretation (...)
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  30. Thinking About Complex Mental States: Language, Symbolic Activity and Theories of Mind.Emanuele Arielli - 2012 - In Sign Culture Zeichen Kultur. Würzburg, Germania: pp. 491-501.
    One of the most important contributions in Roland Posner’s work (1993) was the extension and development of the Gricean paradigm on meaning (1957) in a systematic framework, providing thus a general foundation of semiotic phenomena. According to this approach, communication consists in behaviors or artifacts based on reciprocal assumptions about the intentions and beliefs of the subjects involved in a semiotic exchange. Posner’s model develops with clarity the hierarchical relationships of semiotic phenomena of different complexity, from simple pre-communicative behaviors (like (...)
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  31. The Misidentification Syndromes as Mindreading Disorders.William Hirstein - 2010 - Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 15 (1-3):233-260.
    The patient with Capgras’ syndrome claims that people very familiar to him have been replaced by impostors. I argue that this disorder is due to the destruction of a representation that the patient has of the mind of the familiar person. This creates the appearance of a familiar body and face, but without the familiar personality, beliefs, and thoughts. The posterior site of damage in Capgras’ is often reported to be the temporoparietal junction, an area that has a role in (...)
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  32. Telling Stories Without Words.Kristin Andrews - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8):6-8.
    In this review article of Dan Hutto's bok Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons, I argue that we can take a functional approach to FP that identifies it with the practice of explaining behaviour -- that is, we can understand folk psychology as having the purpose of explaining behaviour and promoting social cohesion by making others’ behaviour comprehensible, without thinking that this ability must be limited to those with linguistic abilities. One reason for thinking that language must (...)
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  33. Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places?Kristin Andrews - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
    : I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's theoretical commitments should lead them to (...)
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