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Testimony and Other Minds

Erkenntnis 80 (1):173-183 (2015)

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  1. Seeing What You Want.William E. S. McNeill - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:554-564.
    There has been recent interest in the hypothesis that we can directly perceive some of each other’s mental features. One popular strategy for defending that hypothesis is to claim that some mental features are embodied in a way that makes them available to perception. Here I argue that this view would imply a particular limit on the kinds of mental feature that would be perceptible (§2). I sketch reasons for thinking that the view is not yet well-motivated (§3). And I (...)
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  • Skepticism About Other Minds.Anil Gomes - forthcoming - In Diego Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Bloomsbury Academic.
    In this paper I distinguish two ways of raising a sceptical problem of others' minds: via a problem concerning the possibility of error or via a problem concerning sources of knowledge. I give some reason to think that the second problem raises a more interesting problem in accounting for our knowledge of others’ minds and consider proposed solutions to the problem.
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  • Perception, Evidence, and Our Expressive Knowledge of Others' Minds.Anil Gomes - forthcoming - In Matthew Parrott & Anita Avramides (eds.), volume on the problem of other minds. Oxford University Press.
    ‘How, then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing about people, sealed as they were?’ So asks Lily Briscoe in To the Lighthouse. It is this question, rather than any concern about pretence or deception, which forms the basis for the philosophical problem of other minds. Responses to this problem have tended to cluster around two solutions: either we know others’ minds through perception; or we know others’ minds through a form of inference. In the (...)
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  • Expressions, Looks and Others' Minds.William E. S. McNeill - forthcoming - In Matthew Parrott & Anita Avramides (eds.), Other Minds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We can know some things about each others' mental lives. The view that some of this knowledge is genuinely perceptual is getting traction. But the idea that we can see any of each others' mental states themselves - the Simple Perceptual Hypothesis - remains unpopular. Very often the view that we can perceptually know, for example, that James is angry, is thought to depend either on our awareness of James' expression or on the way James appears - versions of what (...)
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  • The Look of Another Mind.Matthew Parrott - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1023-1061.
    According to the perceptual model, our knowledge of others' minds is a form of perceptual knowledge. We know, for example, that Jones is angry because we can literally see that he is. In this essay, I argue that mental states do not have the kind of distinctive looks that could sufficiently justify perceptual knowledge of others’ mentality. I present a puzzle that can arise with respect to mental states that I claim does not arise for non-mental properties like being an (...)
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  • Toward a Perceptual Account of Mindreading.Somogy Varga - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):380-401.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Inferentialism and Our Knowledge of Others’ Minds.William E. S. McNeill - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1435-1454.
    Our knowledge of each others’ mental features is sometimes epistemically basic or non-inferential. The alternative to this claim is Inferentialism, the view that such knowledge is always epistemically inferential. Here, I argue that Inferentialism is not plausible. My argument takes the form of an inference to the best explanation. Given the nature of the task involved in recognizing what mental features others have on particular occasions, and our capacity to perform that task, we should not expect always to find good (...)
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