Let's pretend: How pretence scaffolds the acquisition of theory of mind
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
De Villiers and de Villiers (2000) propose that the acquisition of the syntactic device of sentential complementation is a necessary condition for the acquisition of theory of mind (ToM). It might be argued that ToM mastery is simply a consequence of grammatical development. On the other hand, there is also good evidence (Garfield, Peterson & Perry 2001) that social learning is involved in ToM acquisition. We investigate the connection between linguistic and social-cognitive development, arguing that pretence is crucially involved in the acquisition of ToM. We demonstrate that successful understanding of pretence discourse, including the syntactic and semantic properties of sentential complements in the context of verbs of pretence, develops well before ToM as measured by standard tests of false belief understanding. We argue that pretence plays a crucial role in cognitive development, allowing children to gain familiarity with mental representations that fail to accord with reality, and allowing them to learn the syntax and semantics of verbs taking sentential complements, thus enabling conversational exchange involving embedded complement clauses and the acquisition of ToM. We also demonstrate that the developmental track of pretence and ToM allows us to see how social, conceptual and linguistic development work together to scaffold the development of the understanding of mind. We conclude that children’s early involvement in pretend play and conversation paves the way both for their subsequent development of a ToM-based understanding of the mind as a guiding network of propositional attitudes, and for their further development of syntactic competence with complementation for doxastic and epistemic verbs.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Anat Ninio (2006). Language and the Learning Curve: A New Theory of Syntactic Development. OUP Oxford.
Brian J. Scholl & Alan M. Leslie (1999). Modularity, Development and "Theory of Mind". Mind and Language 14 (1):131-153.
Alan M. Leslie & Brian J. Scholl (1999). Modularity, Development and 'Theory of Mind'. Mind and Language 14 (1):131-153.
Juan-carlos Gómez (2008). The Evolution of Pretence: From Intentional Availability to Intentional Non-Existence. Mind and Language 23 (5):586-606.
Hannes Rakoczy (2008). Pretence as Individual and Collective Intentionality. Mind and Language 23 (5):499-517.
Chris Jarrold, Peter Carruthers, Jill Boucher & Peter K. Smith (1994). Pretend Play. Mind and Language 9 (4):445-468.
Anna Papafragou (2007). When We Think About Thinking: The Acquisition of Belief Verbs. Cognition 105 (1):125.
Peter Carruthers (2006). Why Pretend? In Shaun Nichols (ed.), The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction. Clarendon Press
Adina Seidenfeld, An Emotion-Cognition Interaction: Emotion Knowledge and Theory of Mind Impact the Development of Emotion Schemas.
Somogy Varga (2011). Pretence, Social Cognition and Self-Knowledge in Autism. Psychopathology 44 (1):45-52..
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads30 ( #131,006 of 1,796,189 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,533 of 1,796,189 )
How can I increase my downloads?