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  1. When is Mindreading Accurate? A Commentary on Shannon Spaulding’s How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition. [REVIEW]Evan Westra - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (6):868-882.
    In How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition, Shannon Spaulding develops a novel account of social cognition with pessimistic implications for mindreading accuracy: according to Spaulding, mistakes in mentalizing are much more common than traditional theories of mindreading commonly assume. In this commentary, I push against Spaulding’s pessimism from two directions. First, I argue that a number of the heuristic mindreading strategies that Spaulding views as especially error prone might be quite reliable in practice. Second, I argue that current (...)
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  • 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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  • Phenomenology of Social Explanation.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    The orthodox view of social cognition maintains that mentalizing is an important and pervasive element of our ordinary social interactions. The orthodoxy has come under scrutiny from various sources recently. Critics from the phenomenological tradition argue that phenomenological reflection on our social interactions tells against the orthodox view. Proponents of pluralistic folk psychology argue that our ordinary social interactions extend far beyond mentalizing. Both sorts of critics argue that emphasis in social cognition research ought to be on other elements of (...)
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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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  • Doxastic justification through dispositions to cause.Julius Schönherr - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-18.
    According to the standard view, a belief is based on a reason and doxastically justified—i.e., permissibly held—only if a causal relation obtains between a reason and the belief. In this paper, I argue that a belief can be doxastically justified by a reason’s mere disposition to sustain it. Such a disposition, however, wouldn’t establish a causal connection unless it were manifested. My argument is that, in the cases I have in mind, the manifestation of this disposition would add no positive (...)
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  • Believing on eggshells: epistemic injustice through pragmatic encroachment.Javiera Perez Gomez & Julius Schönherr - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):593-613.
    This paper defends the claim that pragmatic encroachment—the idea that knowledge is sensitive to the practical stakes of believing—can explain a distinctive kind of epistemic injustice: the injustice that occurs when prejudice causes someone to know less than they otherwise would. This encroachment injustice, as we call it, occurs when the threat of being met with prejudice raises the stakes for someone to rely on her belief when acting, by raising the level of evidential support required for knowledge. We explain (...)
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  • Perceiving as Knowing in the Predictive Mind.Daniel Munro - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1177-1203.
    On an ‘internalist’ picture, knowledge isn’t necessary for understanding the nature of perception and perceptual experience. This contrasts with the ‘knowledge first’ picture, according to which it’s essential to the nature of successful perceiving as a mental state that it’s a way of knowing. It’s often thought that naturalistic theorizing about the mind should adopt the internalist picture. However, I argue that a powerful, recently prominent framework for scientific study of the mind, ‘predictive processing,’ instead supports the knowledge first picture. (...)
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  • The Role of Predictions, Their Confirmation, and Reward in Maintaining the Self-Concept.Aviv Mokady & Niv Reggev - 2022 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 16.
    The predictive processing framework posits that people continuously use predictive principles when interacting with, learning from, and interpreting their surroundings. Here, we suggest that the same framework may help explain how people process self-relevant knowledge and maintain a stable and positive self-concept. Specifically, we recast two prominent self-relevant motivations, self-verification and self-enhancement, in predictive processing terms. We suggest that these self-relevant motivations interact with the self-concept to create strong predictions. These predictions, in turn, influence how people interpret information about themselves. (...)
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  • The Impact of Culture on Mindreading.Jane Suilin Lavelle - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6351-6374.
    The role of culture in shaping folk psychology and mindreading has been neglected in the philosophical literature. This paper shows that there are significant cultural differences in how psychological states are understood and used by drawing on Spaulding’s recent distinction between the ‘goals’ and ‘methods’ of mindreading to argue that the relations between these methods vary across cultures; and arguing that differences in folk psychology cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the cognitive architecture that facilitates our understanding of psychological states. (...)
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  • Traits, Beliefs and Dispositions in a Pluralistic Folk Psychology.Harmen Ghijsen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5395-5413.
    According to pluralistic folk psychology we make use of a variety of methods to predict and explain each other, only one of which makes use of attributing propositional attitudes. I discuss three related problems for this view: first, the prediction problem, according to which PFP’s methods of prediction only work if they also assume a tacit attribution of propositional attitudes; second, the interaction problem, according to which PFP cannot explain how its different methods of prediction and explanation can interact; and (...)
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  • Pluralistická odpověď na otázku obsahu lidové psychologie.Matěj Dražil - 2021 - Pro-Fil 22 (1):1.
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  • You Are Just Being Emotional! Testimonial Injustice and Folk-Psychological Attributions.Rodrigo Díaz & Manuel Almagro - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5709-5730.
    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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  • Street Smarts.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):161-180.
    A pluralistic approach to folk psychology must countenance the evaluative, regulatory, predictive, and explanatory roles played by attributions of intelligence in social practices across cultures. Building off of the work of the psychologist Robert Sternberg and the philosophers Gilbert Ryle and Daniel Dennett, I argue that a relativistic interpretivism best accounts for the many varieties of intelligence that emerge from folk discourse. To be intelligent is to be comparatively good at solving intellectual problems that an interpreter deems worth solving.
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  • Blame for Me and Not for Thee: Status Sensitivity and Moral Responsibility.Henry Argetsinger - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):265-282.
    In our day-to-day lives, we form responsibility judgements about one another – but we are imperfect beings, and our judgments can be mistaken. This paper suggests that we get things wrong not merely by chance, but predictably and systematically. In particular, these miscues are common when we are dealing with large gaps in social status and power. That is, when we form judgements about those who are much more or less socially powerful than ourselves, it is increasingly likely that “epistemic (...)
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  • Introduction to Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches.Kristin Andrews, Shannon Spaulding & Evan Westra - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1685-1700.
    This introduction to the topical collection, Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches reviews the origins and basic theoretical tenets of the framework of pluralistic folk psychology. It places special emphasis on pluralism about the variety folk psychological strategies that underlie behavioral prediction and explanation beyond belief-desire attribution, and on the diverse range of social goals that folk psychological reasoning supports beyond prediction and explanation. Pluralism is not presented as a single theory or model of social cognition, but rather as a big-tent research (...)
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  • The Social Cover View: A Non-Epistemic Approach to Mindreading.Manuel Almagro Holgado & Víctor Fernandez Castro - 2019 - Philosophia 48 (2):483-505.
    Mindreading capacity has been widely understood as the human ability to gain knowledge about the inner processes and states of others that bring about the behavior of these agents. This paper argues against this epistemic view of mindreading on the basis of different empirical studies in linguistics and social and developmental psychology: we are systematically biased in attributing mental states, and many everyday uses of mental ascription sentences do not reflect an epistemic function in our social interactions. We introduce an (...)
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  • Folk Psychology as a Theory.Ian Martin Ravenscroft - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Many philosophers and cognitive scientists claim that our everyday or "folk" understanding of mental states constitutes a theory of mind. That theory is widely called "folk psychology" (sometimes "commonsense" psychology). The terms in which folk psychology is couched are the familiar ones of "belief" and "desire", "hunger", "pain" and so forth. According to many theorists, folk psychology plays a central role in our capacity to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and others. However, the nature and status of folk (...)
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  • The Ontogeny of Action Anticipation: Processing of Goals and Movements in Development.Kerstin Ganglmayer - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
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  • How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief (...)
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