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Shannon Spaulding
Oklahoma State University
  1. On Direct Social Perception.Shannon Spaulding - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:472-482.
    Direct Social Perception (DSP) is the idea that we can non-inferentially perceive others’ mental states. In this paper, I argue that the standard way of framing DSP leaves the debate at an impasse. I suggest two alternative interpretations of the idea that we see others’ mental states: others’ mental states are represented in the content of our perception, and we have basic perceptual beliefs about others’ mental states. I argue that the latter interpretation of DSP is more promising and examine (...)
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  2. Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (2):233-257.
    Mirror neurons are widely regarded as an important key to social cognition. Despite such wide agreement, there is very little consensus on how or why they are important. The goal of this paper is to clearly explicate the exact role mirror neurons play in social cognition. I aim to answer two questions about the relationship between mirroring and social cognition: What kind of social understanding is involved with mirroring? How is mirroring related to that understanding? I argue that philosophical and (...)
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  3. On Whether We Can See Intentions.Shannon Spaulding - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
    Direct Perception is the view that we can see others' mental states, i.e. that we perceive others' mental states with the same immediacy and directness that we perceive ordinary objects in the world. I evaluate Direct Perception by considering whether we can see intentions, a particularly promising candidate for Direct Perception. I argue that the view equivocates on the notion of intention. Disambiguating the Direct Perception claim reveals a troubling dilemma for the view: either it is banal or highly implausible.
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  4. Conceptual Centrality and Implicit Bias.Guillermo Del Pinal & Shannon Spaulding - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (1):95-111.
    How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philosophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sorts of associations probed by the Implicit Association Test and various priming tasks. In this paper, we argue that these discussions systematically overlook an alternative way in which biases are encoded, that is, in the dependency networks that are part of our representations of social categories. (...)
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  5. Mind Misreading.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1).
    Most people think of themselves as pretty good at understanding others’ beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions. Accurate mindreading is an impressive cognitive feat, and for this reason the philosophical literature on mindreading has focused exclusively on explaining such successes. However, as it turns out, we regularly make mindreading mistakes. Understanding when and how mind misreading occurs is crucial for a complete account of mindreading. In this paper, I examine the conditions under which mind misreading occurs. I argue that these patterns (...)
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  6. Imagination Through Knowledge.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226.
    Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations insofar as it generates new knowledge of contingent facts about the world. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to creative generation of ideas. Sometimes we imagine fanciful ideas that depart freely from reality. The conjunction of these claims is what I call the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. This chapter aims to resolve this puzzle. I argue that imagination has an (...)
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  7. Conceptual Centrality and Implicit Bias.Guillermo del Pinal & Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philosophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sorts of associations probed by the Implicit Association Test and various priming tasks. In this paper, we argue that these discussions systematically overlook an alternative way in which biases are encoded, i.e., in the dependency networks that are part of our representations of social categories. Dependency (...)
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  8. Phenomenology of Social Cognition.Spaulding Shannon - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (5):1069-1089.
    Can phenomenological evidence play a decisive role in accepting or rejecting social cognition theories? Is it the case that a theory of social cognition ought to explain and be empirically supported by our phenomenological experience? There is serious disagreement about the answers to these questions. This paper aims to determine the methodological role of phenomenology in social cognition debates. The following three features are characteristic of evidence capable of playing a substantial methodological role: novelty, reliability, and relevance. I argue that (...)
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  9. How We Think and Act Together.Shannon Spaulding - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (3):298-314.
    In this paper, I examine the challenges socially extended minds pose for mainstream, individualistic accounts of social cognition. I argue that individualistic accounts of social cognition neglect phenomena important to social cognition that are properly emphasized by socially extended mind accounts. Although I do not think the evidence or arguments warrant replacing individualistic explanations of social cognition with socially extended explanations, I argue that we have good reason to supplement our individualistic accounts so as to include the ways in which (...)
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  10. Embodied Cognition and Theory of Mind.Shannon Spaulding - 2014 - In Lawrence Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition. Routledge. pp. 197-206.
    According to embodied cognition, the philosophical and empirical literature on theory of mind is misguided. Embodied cognition rejects the idea that social cognition requires theory of mind. It regards the intramural debate between the Theory Theory and the Simulation Theory as irrelevant, and it dismisses the empirical studies on theory of mind as ill conceived and misleading. Embodied cognition provides a novel deflationary account of social cognition that does not depend on theory of mind. In this chapter, l describe embodied (...)
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  11. Embodied Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2011 - Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
    In this paper I evaluate embodied social cognition, embodied cognition’s account of how we understand others. I identify and evaluate three claims that motivate embodied social cognition. These claims are not specific to social cognition; they are general hypotheses about cognition. As such, they may be used in more general arguments for embodied cognition. I argue that we have good reasons to reject these claims. Thus, the case for embodied social cognition fails. Moreover, to the extent that general arguments for (...)
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  12. Imagination, Desire, and Rationality.Shannon Spaulding - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (9):457-476.
    We often have affective responses to fictional events. We feel afraid for Desdemona when Othello approaches her in a murderous rage. We feel disgust toward Iago for orchestrating this tragic event. What mental architecture could explain these affective responses? In this paper I consider the claim that the best explanation of our affective responses to fiction involves imaginative desires. Some theorists argue that accounts that do not invoke imaginative desires imply that consumers of fiction have irrational desires. I argue that (...)
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  13. Embodied Cognition and Sport.Lawrence Shapiro & Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - In Massimiliano Cappuccio (ed.), Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology. MIT Press.
    Successful athletic performance requires precision in many respects. A batter stands behind home plate awaiting the arrival of a ball that is less than three inches in diameter and moving close to 100 mph. His goal is to hit it with a ba­­t that is also less than three inches in diameter. This impressive feat requires extraordinary temporal and spatial coordination. The sweet spot of the bat must be at the same place, at the same time, as the ball. A (...)
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  14. Simulation Theory.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), Handbook of Imagination. Routledge Press. pp. 262-273.
    This is a penultimate draft of a paper that will appear in Handbook of Imagination, Amy Kind (ed.). Routledge Press. Please cite only the final printed version.
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