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The cultural evolution of mind-modelling

Synthese 199 (1-2):1751-1776 (2020)

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  1. Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Human behavior and thought often exhibit a familiar pattern of within group similarity and between group difference. Many of these patterns are attributed to cultural differences. For much of the history of its investigation into behavior and thought, however, cognitive science has been disproportionately focused on uncovering and explaining the more universal features of human minds—or the universal features of minds in general. -/- This entry charts out the ways in which this has changed over recent decades. It sketches the (...)
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  • The Origins of Distinctively Human Mindreading: A Bio-social-technological Co-evolutionary Account.Armin W. Schulz - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • Coversheet for social inheritance and the social mind: Introduction to the synthese topical collection on the cultural evolution of human social cognition.Richard Moore & Rachael L. Brown - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    In this introduction to the Synthese SI: The Cultural Evolution of Human Social Cognition, we introduce some basic theoretical terms that will help readers to navigate the volume. Subsequently we describe the papers that make up the volume and draw attention to points of agreement and disagreement between the authors. We also identify a number of outstanding issues for the field of cultural evolution research. The papers in the volume can be divided into three sections: The Cultural Evolution of Mindreading, (...)
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  • First saying, then believing: The pragmatic roots of folk psychology.Bart Geurts - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (4):515-532.
    Linguistic research has revealed several pathways of language change that may guide our understanding of the evolution of mental‐state attribution. In particular, it turns out that, in many languages, quotative verbs have been exapted for attributing a variety of mental states, including beliefs and intentions. In such languages, the literal translation of, “Betty said: ‘There will be war’”, may be used not only to quote Betty's words, but also to convey that she thought or intended there to be war. This (...)
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  • Morgan’s Quaker gun and the species of belief.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):119-144.
    In this article, I explore how researchers’ metaphysical commitments can be conducive—or unconducive—to progress in animal cognition research. The methodological dictum known as Morgan’s Canon exhorts comparative psychologists to countenance the least mentalistic fair interpretation of animal actions. This exhortation has frequently been misread as a blanket condemnation of mentalistic interpretations of animal behaviors that could be interpreted behavioristically. But Morgan meant to demand only that researchers refrain from accepting default interpretations of (apparent) actions until other fair interpretations have been (...)
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  • Pragmatic interpretation and the production of ideographic codes.Leda Berio, Berke Can, Katharina Helming, Giulia Palazzolo & Richard Moore - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e236.
    We argue that the problem of ideographic codes stems from neither learnability nor standardization, but from a general issue of pragmatic interpretation. As ideographic codes increase in expressive power, in order to reduce ambiguity, they must become more detailed – such that production becomes more cumbersome, and requires greater artistry on the part of users, limiting their capacity for growth.
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  • Metarepresentation, trust, and “unleashed expression”.Leda Berio, Albert Newen & Richard Moore - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e4.
    Heintz & Scott-Phillips's account of human expression leaves a number of central issues unclear – not least, whether the lack of expression in nonhuman species is attributable to their lack of the relevant metarepresentational abilities, an absence of trust, or a consequence of other factors. In place of their view, we propose a gradualistic account of the origins of human expression.
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  • How language shapes our minds: On the relationship between generics, stereotypes and social norms.Leda Berio & Kristina Musholt - 2022 - Mind and Language 38 (4):944-961.
    In this article, we discuss the role of labels and generics referring to social kinds in mindshaping practices, arguing that they promote generalizations that foster essentialist thinking and carry a normative force. We propose that their cognitive function consists in both contributing to the formation and reinforcement of schemata and scripts for social interaction and in activating these schemata in specific social situations. Moreover, we suggest that failure to meet the expectations engendered by these schemata and scripts leads to the (...)
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  • Great ape enculturation studies: a neglected resource in cognitive development research.Leda Berio & Richard Moore - 2023 - Biology and Philosophy 38 (2):1-24.
    Disagreement remains about whether particular human socio-cognitive traits arose primarily as a result of biological adaptations, or because of changing cultural practices. Heyes argues that uniquely human traits, including imitation and theory of mind, are the product of cultural learning. In contrast, Tomasello argues that they are, in key respects, part of a suite of adaptations for ‘shared intentionality’. We consider how such disagreements might be resolved. We show that the kinds of consideration often used to adjudicate questions about trait (...)
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  • Human Self‐Domestication and the Evolution of Pragmatics.Antonio Benítez-Burraco, Francesco Ferretti & Ljiljana Progovac - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (6):e12987.
    As proposed for the emergence of modern languages, we argue that modern uses of languages (pragmatics) also evolved gradually in our species under the effects of human self‐domestication, with three key aspects involved in a complex feedback loop: (a) a reduction in reactive aggression, (b) the sophistication of language structure (with emerging grammars initially facilitating the transition from physical aggression to verbal aggression); and (c) the potentiation of pragmatic principles governing conversation, including, but not limited to, turn‐taking and inferential abilities. (...)
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  • Minimal theory of mind – a Millikanian Approach.Nimra Asif - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Minimal theory of mind is presented in the theory of mind literature as a middle ground between full-blown ToM and mere behavior-reading. Minimal ToM seems to be a useful construct for studying and understanding the minds of nonhuman animals and infants. However, providing an account of minimal ToM on which minimal mindreading is significantly less demanding than full-blown mindreading yet more than just a behavior-reading process is a challenge. In this paper, I argue that to address this challenge, we need (...)
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  • Communication before communicative intentions.Josh Armstrong - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):26-50.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  • On IQ and other sciencey descriptions of minds.Devin Sanchez Curry - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Philosophers of mind (from eliminative materialists to psychofunctionalists to interpretivists) generally assume that a normative ideal delimits which mental phenomena exist (though they disagree about how to characterize the ideal in question). This assumption is dubious. A comprehensive ontology of mind includes some mental phenomena that are neither (a) explanatorily fecund posits in any branch of cognitive science that aims to unveil the mechanistic structure of cognitive systems nor (b) ideal (nor even progressively closer to ideal) posits in any given (...)
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  • Culture and cognitive science.Jesse Prinz - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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