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Profile: Shannon Spaulding (Oklahoma State University)
  1. Shannon Spaulding (forthcoming). Imagination Through Knowledge. In Amy Kind & Peter Kung (eds.), Knowledge Through Imagination. Oxford University Press.
    Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations. That is, imagination seems to generate new knowledge of contingent facts. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to revealing merely possible ways the world might be. The conjunction of these claims is what I call the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. In this paper, I aim to resolve this puzzle. I argue that imagination has an epistemic role to play, but (...)
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  2. Shannon Spaulding (forthcoming). On Whether We Can See Intentions. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Direct Perception is the view that we can see others’ mental states, i.e., that we perceive others’ mental states with the same immediacy and directness that we perceive ordinary objects in the world. I evaluate Direct Perception by considering whether we can see intentions, a particularly promising candidate for Direct Perception. I argue that the view equivocates on the notion of intention. Disambiguating the Direct Perception claim reveals a troubling dilemma for the view: either it is banal or highly implausible.
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  3. Shannon Spaulding (2014). Embodied Cognition and Theory of Mind. In Lawrence Shapiro (ed.), Handbook of Embodied Cognition. Routledge. 197-206.
    According to embodied cognition, the philosophical and empirical literature on theory of mind is misguided. Embodied cognition rejects the idea that social cognition requires theory of mind. It regards the intramural debate between the Theory Theory and the Simulation Theory as irrelevant, and it dismisses the empirical studies on theory of mind as ill conceived and misleading. Embodied cognition provides a novel deflationary account of social cognition that does not depend on theory of mind. In this chapter, l describe embodied (...)
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  4. Shannon Spaulding (2013). Mirror Neurons and Social Cognition. Mind and Language 28 (2):233-257.
    Mirror neurons are widely regarded as an important key to social cognition. Despite such wide agreement, there is very little consensus on how or why they are important. The goal of this paper is to clearly explicate the exact role mirror neurons play in social cognition. I aim to answer two questions about the relationship between mirroring and social cognition: What kind of social understanding is involved with mirroring? How is mirroring related to that understanding? I argue that philosophical and (...)
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  5. Shannon Spaulding (2012). Introduction to Debates on Embodied Social Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):431-448.
    Embodied social cognition (ESC) aims to explicate how our embodiment shapes our knowledge of others, and in what this knowledge of others consists. Although there is much diversity amongst ESC accounts, common to all these accounts is the idea that our normal everyday interactions consist in non-mentalistic embodied engagements. In recent years, several theorists have developed and defended innovative and controversial accounts of ESC. These accounts challenge, and offer deflationary alternatives to, the standard cognitivist accounts of social cognition. As ESC (...)
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  6. Shannon Spaulding (2012). Mirror Neurons Are Not Evidence for the Simulation Theory. Synthese 189 (3):515-534.
    Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in theories of mindreading. New discoveries in neuroscience have revitalized the languishing debate. The discovery of so-called mirror neurons has revived interest particularly in the Simulation Theory (ST) of mindreading. Both ST proponents and theorists studying mirror neurons have argued that mirror neurons are strong evidence in favor of ST over Theory Theory (TT). In this paper I argue against the prevailing view that mirror neurons are evidence for the ST of mindreading. (...)
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  7. Shannon Spaulding (2012). Overextended Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):469 - 490.
    Extended cognition is the view that some cognitive processes extend beyond the brain. One prominent strategy of arguing against extended cognition is to offer necessary conditions on cognition and argue that the proposed extended processes fail to satisfy these conditions. I argue that this strategy is misguided and fails to refute extended cognition. I suggest a better way to evaluate the case for extended cognition that should be acceptable to all parties, captures the intuitiveness of previous objections, and avoids the (...)
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  8. Shannon Spaulding (2011). Embodied Social Cognition. Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
    In this paper I evaluate embodied social cognition, embodied cognition’s account of how we understand others. I identify and evaluate three claims that motivate embodied social cognition. These claims are not specific to social cognition; they are general hypotheses about cognition. As such, they may be used in more general arguments for embodied cognition. I argue that we have good reasons to reject these claims. Thus, the case for embodied social cognition fails. Moreover, to the extent that general arguments for (...)
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  9. Shannon Spaulding (2011). A Critique of Embodied Simulation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):579-599.
    Social cognition is the capacity to understand and interact with others. The mainstream account of social cognition is mindreading, the view that we humans understanding others by interpreting their behavior in terms of mental states. Recently theorists from philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have challenged the mindreading account, arguing for a more deflationary account of social cognition. In this paper I examine a deflationary account of social cognition, embodied simulation, which is inspired by recent neuroscientific findings. I argue that embodied simulation (...)
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  10. Shannon Spaulding (2010). Embodied Cognition and Mindreading. Mind and Language 25 (1):119-140.
    Recently, philosophers and psychologists defending the embodied cognition research program have offered arguments against mindreading as a general model of our social understanding. The embodied cognition arguments are of two kinds: those that challenge the developmental picture of mindreading and those that challenge the alleged ubiquity of mindreading. Together, these two kinds of arguments, if successful, would present a serious challenge to the standard account of human social understanding. In this paper, I examine the strongest of these embodied cognition arguments (...)
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  11. Eric Funkhouser & Shannon Spaulding (2009). Imagination and Other Scripts. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):291-314.
    One version of the Humean Theory of Motivation holds that all actions can be causally explained by reference to a belief–desire pair. Some have argued that pretense presents counter-examples to this principle, as pretense is instead causally explained by a belief-like imagining and a desire-like imagining. We argue against this claim by denying imagination the power of motivation. Still, we allow imagination a role in guiding action as a script . We generalize the script concept to show how things besides (...)
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  12. Lawrence Shapiro & Shannon Spaulding (2009). Review of Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (6).
    Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind begins as a manifesto in which the components of an embodied theory of mind are carefully moved into place, proceeds to a defense of these components from recent critical attacks, and ends with words of caution to those who would seek to extract too much from the embodied perspective. Readers unfamiliar with Clark's earlier works are likely to find the result dazzling -- an exciting, novel, and coherent conception of the mind that dares one to (...)
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