Phenomenal concepts in mindreading

Philosophical Psychology 22 (6):647 – 667 (2009)
Abstract
In an earlier paper (Biggs, 2007) I argue that those attributing mental states sometimes simulate the phenomenal states of those to whom they are making attributions (i.e., targets). In this paper I argue that such phenomenal simulation plays an important role in some third-person mental state attributions. More specifically, I identity three important roles that phenomenal simulation could play in third-person mental state attributions: phenomenal simulation could cause attributions, facilitate attributions, or deepen simulators' understanding of targets. I then argue that phenomenal simulation sometimes deepens simulators' understanding of targets, regardless of whether it causes or facilitates any attributions. Accordingly, I conclude that phenomenal simulation plays an important role some third-person mental state attributions. I close by briefly considering how this conclusion relates to the theory-theory versus simulation-theory debate
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