Simulation as an epistemic tool between theory and practice: A comparison of the relationship between theory and simulation in science and folk psychology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Simulation as an epistemic tool between theory and practice: A Comparison of the Relationship between Theory and Simulation in Science and in Folk Psychology In this paper I explore the concept of simulation that is employed by proponents of the so-called simulation theory within the debate about the nature and scientific status of folk psychology. According to simulation theory, folk psychology is not a sort of theory that postulates theoretical entities (mental states and processes) and general laws, but a practice whereby we put ourselves into others’ shoes and simulate their situation from our own perspective. On the basis of this sort of simulation, we supposedly know how we would act or think or feel, and then expect the same of others. A closer look at the concept of simulation reveals some problems with this view, but also helps to clarify the insight motivating simulation theory. Specifically, I defend the thesis that the analogy to simulations in science shows us how theoretical elements in folk psychology can be complemented by (i.e. not replaced by) the central idea of simulation theory – namely that our own cognitive habits and dispositions provide us with a resource that is distinct from propositional knowledge in folk psychology. I also discuss the idea that our use of simulations during cognitive development enables us to imitate the people around us and thereby to become more similar to them, which in turn makes simulation an increasingly effective epistemic strategy. Insofar as theoretical elements – such as the distinctions, relations, and entities referred to in folk psychological discourse – play a role in imitative learning, they are causally embedded in our cognitive development, so we have good reason to regard them as being among the real causes of our behavior.
|Keywords||simulation theory theory theory folk psychology|
|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
Angela Arkway (2000). The Simulation Theory, the Theory Theory and Folk Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Studies 98 (2):115-137.
A. Goldman (2002). Simulation Theory and Mental Concepts. In Jérôme Dokic & Joëlle Proust (eds.), Simulation and Knowledge of Action. John Benjamins.
Martin Davies & Tony Stone (2001). Mental Simulation, Tacit Theory, and the Threat of Collapse. Philosophical Topics 29 (1-2):127-73.
Justin C. Fisher (2006). Does Simulation Theory Really Involve Simulation? Philosophical Psychology 19 (4):417 – 432.
Robert M. Gordon & Joe Cruz (2002). Simulation Theory. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
Robert M. Gordon (1986). Folk Psychology as Simulation. Mind and Language 1 (2):158-71.
Theodore Bach (2011). Structure-Mapping: Directions From Simulation to Theory. Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):23-51.
Tony Stone & Martin Davies (1998). Folk Psychology and Mental Simulation. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 43:53-82.
Martin Davies & Tony Stone (1998). Folk Psychology and Mental Simulation. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 53-82.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #142,419 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #116,273 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?