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Meaning and Mindreading

Mind and Language 29 (2):167-200 (2014)

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  1. The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • What is the Role of Experience in Children's Success in the False Belief Test: Maturation, Facilitation, Attunement or Induction?Marco Fenici - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (3):308-337.
    According to a widely shared view, experience plays only a limited role in children's acquisition of the capacity to pass the false belief test: at most, it facilitates or attunes the development of mindreading abilities from infancy to early childhood. Against the facilitation—and also the maturation—hypothesis, I report empirical data attesting that children and even adults never come to understand false beliefs when deprived of proper social and linguistic interaction. In contrast to the attunement hypothesis, I argue that alleged mindreading (...)
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  • Making Sense of Self Talk.Bart Geurts - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):271-285.
    People talk not only to others but also to themselves. The self talk we engage in may be overt or covert, and is associated with a variety of higher mental functions, including reasoning, problem solving, planning and plan execution, attention, and motivation. When talking to herself, a speaker takes devices from her mother tongue, originally designed for interpersonal communication, and employs them to communicate with herself. But what could it even mean to communicate with oneself? To answer that question, we (...)
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  • Signature Limits in Mindreading Systems.J. Robert Thompson - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (7):1432-1455.
    Recent evidence that young children seem to both understand false belief in one sense, but not in another, has led to two-systems theorizing about mindreading. By analyzing the most detailed two-systems approach in studying social cognition—the theory of mindreading defended by Ian Apperly and Stephen Butterfill—I argue that that even when dutifully constructed, two-systems approaches in social cognition struggle to adequately define the mindreading systems in terms of signature processing limits, an issue that becomes most apparent when investigating mindreading in (...)
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  • Gricean Communication and Cognitive Development.Richard Moore - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267).
    On standard readings of Grice, Gricean communication requires (a) possession of a concept of belief, (b) the ability to make complex inferences about others’ goal-directed behaviour, and (c) the ability to entertain fourth order meta-representations. To the extent that these abilities are pre-requisites of Gricean communication they are inconsistent with the view that Gricean communication could play a role in their development. In this paper, I argue that a class of ‘minimally Gricean acts’ satisfy the intentional structure described by Grice, (...)
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  • Gricean Communication, Language Development, and Animal Minds.Richard Moore - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (12):e12550.
    Humans alone acquire language. According to one influen- tial school of thought, we do this because we possess a uniquely human ability to act with and attribute “Gricean” communicative intentions. A challenge for this view is that attributing communicative intent seems to require cognitive abilities that infant language learners lack. After considering a range of responses to this challenge, I argue that infant language development can be explained, because Gricean communication is cognitively less demanding than many suppose. However, a consequence (...)
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