David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):213-230 (2012)
Philosophers and psychologists have often maintained that in order to attribute mental states to other people one must have a ‘theory of mind’. This theory facilitates our grasp of other people’s mental states. Debate has then focussed on the form this theory should take. Recently a new approach has been suggested, which I call the ‘Direct Perception approach to social cognition’. This approach maintains that we can directly perceive other people’s mental states. It opposes traditional views on two counts: by claiming that mental states are observable and by claiming that we can attribute them to others without the need for a theory of mind. This paper argues that there are two readings of the direct perception claims: a strong and a weak one. The Theory-theory is compatible with the weak version but not the strong one. The paper argues that the strong version of direct perception is untenable, drawing on evidence from the mirror neuron literature and arguments from the philosophy of science and perception to support this claim. It suggests that one traditional ‘theory of mind’ view, the ‘Theory-theory’ view, is compatible with the claim that mental states are observable, and concludes that direct perception views do not offer a viable alternative to theory of mind approaches to social cognition
|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
Shaun Gallagher (2005). How the Body Shapes the Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
A. Goldman (2006/2008). Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading. Oxford University Press.
James J. Gibson (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Houghton Mifflin.
Paul M. Churchland (1979). Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Shannon Spaulding (2015). On Direct Social Perception. Consciousness and Cognition 36:472-482.
Vivian Bohl & Nivedita Gangopadhyay (2014). Theory of Mind and the Unobservability of Other Minds. Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):203-222.
John Michael & Leon De Bruin (2015). How Direct is Social Perception? Consciousness and Cognition 36:373-375.
Shaun Gallagher & Somogy Varga (2014). Social Constraints on the Direct Perception of Emotions and Intentions. Topoi 33 (1):185-199.
Mitchell Herschbach (2015). Direct Social Perception and Dual Process Theories of Mindreading. Consciousness and Cognition 36:483-497.
Similar books and articles
Mitchell Herschbach (2008). Folk Psychological and Phenomenological Accounts of Social Perception. Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):223 – 235.
William E. S. McNeill (2012). Embodiment and the Perceptual Hypothesis. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):569 - 591.
Natika Newton (1988). Introspection and Perception. Topoi 7 (March):25-30.
Thomas Natsoulas (1993). What is Wrong with the Appendage Theory of Consciousness? Philosophical Psychology 6 (2):137-54.
Rebecca Copenhaver (2000). Thomas Reid's Direct Realism. Reid Studies 4 (1):17-34.
Hanne De Jaegher (2009). Social Understanding Through Direct Perception? Yes, by Interacting. Consciousness & Cognition 18 (2):535-542.
Jose S. Pescador Hierro (1997). Problemas del empirismo en la filosofía de la mente. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):35-49.
Annika Wallin (2011). Is Egocentric Bias Evidence for Simulation Theory? Synthese 178 (3):503 - 514.
J. R. Smythies & Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (1997). An Empirical Refutation of the Direct Realist Theory of Perception. Inquiry 40 (4):437-438.
Paul Katsafanas (2005). Nietzsche's Theory of Mind: Consciousness and Conceptualization. European Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):1–31.
Hisayasu Kobayashi (2010). Self-Awareness and Mental Perception. Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (3):233-245.
Added to index2012-03-17
Total downloads93 ( #35,101 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #66,646 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?