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  1. The Cultural Evolution of Mind-Modelling.Richard Moore - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1751-1776.
    I argue that uniquely human forms of ‘Theory of Mind’ are a product of cultural evolution. Specifically, propositional attitude psychology is a linguistically constructed folk model of the human mind, invented by our ancestors for a range of tasks and refined over successive generations of users. The construction of these folk models gave humans new tools for thinking and reasoning about mental states—and so imbued us with abilities not shared by non-linguistic species. I also argue that uniquely human forms of (...)
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  • Is Mindreading a Gadget?Pierre Jacob & Thom Scott-Phillips - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1-27.
    Non-cognitive gadgets are fancy tools shaped to meet specific, local needs. Cecilia Heyes defines cognitive gadgets as dedicated psychological mechanisms created through social interactions and culturally, not genetically, inherited by humans. She has boldly proposed that many human cognitive mechanisms are gadgets. If true, these claims would have far-reaching implications for our scientific understanding of human social cognition. Here we assess Heyes’s cognitive gadget approach as it applies to mindreading. We do not think that the evidence supports Heyes’s thought-provoking thesis (...)
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  • Pragmatics in the False-Belief Task: Let the Robot Ask the Question!Jean Baratgin, Marion Dubois-Sage, Baptiste Jacquet, Jean-Louis Stilgenbauer & Frank Jamet - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The poor performances of typically developing children younger than 4 in the first-order false-belief task “Maxi and the chocolate” is analyzed from the perspective of conversational pragmatics. An ambiguous question asked by an adult experimenter can receive different interpretations based on a search for relevance, by which children according to their age attribute different intentions to the questioner, within the limits of their own meta-cognitive knowledge. The adult experimenter tells the child the following story of object-transfer: “Maxi puts his chocolate (...)
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  • Mindreading Beyond Belief: A More Comprehensive Conception of How We Understand Others.Shannon Spaulding - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12526.
    Traditional theories of mindreading tend to focus exclusively on attributing beliefs and desires to other agents. The literature emphasizes belief attribution in particular, with numerous debates over when children develop the concept of belief, how neurotypical adult humans attribute beliefs to others, whether non-human animals have the concept of belief, etc. I describe a growing school of thought that the heavy focus on belief leaves traditional theories of mindreading unable to account for the complexity, diversity, and messiness of ordinary social (...)
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  • How Children Approach the False Belief Test: Social Development, Pragmatics, and the Assembly of Theory of Mind.Marco Fenici - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-21.
    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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  • The Situational Mental File Account of the False Belief Tasks: A New Solution of the Paradox of False Belief Understanding.Albert Newen & Julia Wolf - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):717-744.
    How can we solve the paradox of false-belief understanding: if infants pass the implicit false belief task by nonverbal behavioural responses why do they nonetheless typically fail the explicit FBT till they are 4 years old? Starting with the divide between situational and cognitive accounts of the development of false-belief understanding, we argue that we need to consider both situational and internal cognitive factors together and describe their interaction to adequately explain the development of children’s Theory of Mind ability. We (...)
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  • 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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  • The Relationship Between Parental Mental-State Language and 2.5-Year-Olds’ Performance on a Nontraditional False-Belief Task. [REVIEW]Erin Roby & Rose M. Scott - 2018 - Cognition 180:10-23.
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