Explaining the theory of mind deficit in autism spectrum disorder

Philosophical Studies 163 (1):233-249 (2013)
Abstract
The theory of mind (ToM) deficit associated with autism has been a central topic in the debate about the modularity of the mind. Most involved in the debate about the explanation of the ToM deficit have failed to notice that autism’s status as a spectrum disorder has implications about which explanation is more plausible. In this paper, I argue that the shift from viewing autism as a unified syndrome to a spectrum disorder increases the plausibility of the explanation of the ToM deficit that appeals to a domain-specific, higher-level ToM module. First, I discuss what it means to consider autism as a spectrum rather than as a unified disorder. Second, I argue for the plausibility of the modular explanation on the basis that autism is better considered as a spectrum disorder. Third, I respond to a potential challenge to my account from Philip Gerrans and Valerie Stone’s recent work (Gerrans, Biol Philos 17:305–321, 2002; Stone and Gerrans, Trends Cogn Sci 10:3–4, 2006a; Soc Neurosci 1:309–319, 2006b; Gerrans and Stone, Br J Philos Sci 59:121–141, 2008)
Keywords Modularity  Theory of mind  Autism spectrum disorder  Spectrum disorders  Psychological theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,493
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 16 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Ruth Sample (2013). Autism and the Extreme Male Brain. In Jami L. Anderson Simon Cushing (ed.), The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman and Littlefield.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-09-11

Total downloads

99 ( #11,912 of 1,102,505 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #18,603 of 1,102,505 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.