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  1. Chimpanzee Mind Reading: Don't Stop Believing.Kristin Andrews - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (1):e12394.
    Since the question “Do chimpanzees have a theory of mind?” was raised in 1978, scientists have attempted to answer it, and philosophers have attempted to clarify what the question means and whether it has been, or could be, answered. Mindreading or theory of mind refers to the ability to attribute mental states to other individuals. Some versions of the question focus on whether chimpanzees engage in belief reasoning or can think about false belief, and chimpanzees have been given nonverbal versions (...)
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  • Seeing Seeing.Ben Phillips - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I argue that we can visually perceive others as seeing agents. I start by characterizing perceptual processes as those that are causally controlled by proximal stimuli. I then distinguish between various forms of visual perspective-taking, before presenting evidence that most of them come in perceptual varieties. In doing so, I clarify and defend the view that some forms of visual perspective-taking are “automatic”—a view that has been marshalled in support of dual-process accounts of mindreading.
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  • Empathy and Morality in Behaviour Readers.Susana Monsó - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):671-690.
    It is tempting to assume that being a moral creature requires the capacity to attribute mental states to others, because a creature cannot be moral unless she is capable of comprehending how her actions can have an impact on the well-being of those around her. If this assumption were true, then mere behaviour readers could never qualify as moral, for they are incapable of conceptualising mental states and attributing them to others. In this paper, I argue against such an assumption (...)
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  • The Evolution and Development of Visual Perspective Taking.Ben Phillips - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):183-204.
    I outline three conceptions of seeing that a creature might possess: ‘the headlamp conception,’ which involves an understanding of the causal connections between gazing at an object, certain mental states, and behavior; ‘the stage lights conception,’ which involves an understanding of the selective nature of visual attention; and seeing-as. I argue that infants and various nonhumans possess the headlamp conception. There is also evidence that chimpanzees and 3-year-old children have some grasp of seeing-as. However, due to a dearth of studies, (...)
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  • Theory of Mind and Non-Human Intelligence.Brandon Tinklenberg - 2016 - Shakelford, T.K. And V.A.Weekes-Shakelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.
    Comparative cognition researchers have long been interested in the nature of nonhuman animal social capacities. One capacity has received prolonged attention: mindreading, or “theory of mind” as it’s also called, is often seen to be the ability to attribute mental states to others in the service of predicting and explaining behavior. This attention is garnered in no small measure from interest into what accounts for the distinctive features of human social cognition and what are the evolutionary origins of those features. (...)
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  • How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief (...)
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  • Morgan’s Canon, Meet Hume’s Dictum: Avoiding Anthropofabulation in Cross-Species Comparisons.Cameron Buckner - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):853-871.
    How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...)
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  • Minimal Mindreading and Animal Cognition.Anna Strasser - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (4):541-565.
    _ Source: _Page Count 25 Human and non-human animals are social beings, both have social interactions. The ability to anticipate behavior of others is a fundamental requirement of social interactions. However, there are several ways of how agents can succeed in this. Two modes of anticipation, namely mindreading and behavior-reading, shape the animal mindreading debate. As a matter of fact, no position has yet convincingly ruled out the other. This paper suggests a strategy of how to argue for a mentalistic (...)
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  • Basic Social Cognition Without Mindreading: Minding Minds Without Attributing Contents.Daniel Hutto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):827-846.
    This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses, of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses. Following Buckner, it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that (...)
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  • There Is No Special Problem of Mindreading in Nonhuman Animals.Marta Halina - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):473-490.
    There is currently a consensus among comparative psychologists that nonhuman animals are capable of some forms of mindreading. Several philosophers and psychologists have criticized this consensus, however, arguing that there is a “logical problem” with the experimental approach used to test for mindreading in nonhuman animals. I argue that the logical problem is no more than a version of the general skeptical problem known as the theoretician’s dilemma. As such, it is not a problem that comparative psychologists must solve before (...)
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  • Putting Unicepts to Work: A Teleosemantic Perspective on the Infant Mindreading Puzzle.John Michael - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4365-4388.
    In this paper, I show how theoretical discussion of recent research on the abilities of infants and young children to represent other agents’ beliefs has been shaped by a descriptivist conception of mental content, i.e., to the notion that the distal content of a mental representation is fixed by the core body of knowledge that is associated with that mental representation. I also show how alternative conceptions of mental content—and in particular Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantic approach—make it possible to endorse the (...)
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  • The Future of Social Cognition: Paradigms, Concepts and Experiments.Nivedita Gangopadhyay - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):655-672.
    Since the publication of Premack and Woodruff’s classic paper introducing the notion of a ‘theory of mind’ :515–526, 1978), interdisciplinary research in social cognition has witnessed the development of theory–theory, simulation theory, hybrid approaches, and most recently interactionist and perceptual accounts of other minds. The challenges that these various approaches present for each other and for research in social cognition range from adequately defining central concepts to designing experimental paradigms for testing empirical hypotheses. But is there any approach that promises (...)
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  • RECkoning with Representational Apriorism in Evolutionary Cognitive Archaeology.Duilio Garofoli - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):973-995.
    In evolutionary cognitive archaeology, the school of thought associated with the traditional framework has been deeply influenced by cognitivist intuitions, which have led to the formulation of mentalistic and disembodied cognitive explanations to address the emergence of artifacts within the archaeological record of ancient hominins. Recently, some approaches in this domain have further enforced this view, by arguing that artifacts are passive means to broadcast/perpetuate meanings that are thoroughly internal to the mind. These meanings are conveyed either in the form (...)
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  • Interpretations Without Justification: A General Argument Against Morgan’s Canon.Tobias Starzak - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    In this paper I critically discuss and, in the end, reject Morgan’s Canon, a popular principle in comparative psychology. According to this principle we should always prefer explanations of animal behavior in terms of lower psychological processes over explanations in terms of higher psychological processes, when alternative explanations are possible. The validity of the principle depends on two things, a clear understanding of what it means for psychological processes to be higher or lower relative to each other and a justification (...)
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  • Animal Mindreading and the Principle of Conservatism.Tyler K. Fagan - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):189-208.
    Skeptics about nonlinguistic mindreading often use an inferential rule of thumb—the principle of conservatism—to cast doubt on purported empirical evidence of mindreading abilities in nonlinguistic creatures. This principle, if warranted, would seem to count generally against explanatory hypotheses that posit nonlinguistic mindreading, instead favoring mere behavior-reading hypotheses. Using a test case from research with chimpanzees, I show that this principle is best understood as an appeal to parsimony; that, regardless of how one conceives of parsimony, the principle is unwarranted; and (...)
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  • The Varieties of Parsimony in Psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):414-437.
    Philosophers and psychologists make many different, seemingly incompatible parsimony claims in support of competing models of cognition in nonhuman animals. This variety of parsimony claims is problematic. Firstly, it is difficult to justify each specific variety. This problem is especially salient for Morgan's Canon, perhaps the most important variety of parsimony claimed. Secondly, there is no systematic way of adjudicating between particular claims when they conflict. I argue for a view of parsimony in comparative psychology that solves these problems, based (...)
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