Philosophia 48 (2):483-505 (2020)

Authors
Manuel Almagro Holgado
University of Granada
Víctor Fernandez Castro
Institut Jean Nicod
Abstract
Mindreading capacity has been widely understood as the human ability to gain knowledge about the inner processes and states of others that bring about the behavior of these agents. This paper argues against this epistemic view of mindreading on the basis of different empirical studies in linguistics and social and developmental psychology: we are systematically biased in attributing mental states, and many everyday uses of mental ascription sentences do not reflect an epistemic function in our social interactions. We introduce an alternative view of mental ascriptions, the social cover view, which is consistent with the evidence. The social cover view holds that the main function of mental ascriptions is to cover the social status and reputation of an agent rather than to gain knowledge about her inner processes and states. Finally, we discuss two possible objections to our proposal.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-019-00096-2
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.

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Street Smarts.Devin Sanchez Curry - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.

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