Our understanding of other minds: theory of mind and the intentional stance

Abstract
Psychologists distinguish between intentional systems which have beliefs and those which are also able to attribute beliefs to others. The ability to do the latter is called having a 'theory of mind', and many cognitive ethologists are hoping to find evidence for this ability in animal behaviour. I argue that Dennett's theory entails that any intentional system that interacts with another intentional system (such as vervet monkeys and chess-playing computers) has a theory of mind, which would make the distinction all but meaningless. This entailment should not be accepted; instead, Dennett's position that intentional behaviour is best predictable via the intentional stance should be rejected in favour of a pluralistic view of behaviour prediction. I introduce an additional method which humans often use to predict intentional and non-intentional behaviour, which could be called the inductive stance.
Keywords Minds  Other  Psychology  Science  Understanding  Dennett, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,820
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Social Systems.Heidi L. Maibom - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (5):557 – 578.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Population of China as One Mind.Lawrence Richard Carleton - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:665-74.
Intentional Systems Theory.Daniel Dennett - 2011 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
Intentional Systems.Daniel C. Dennett - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.
Reading Mother Nature's Mind.Ruth G. Millikan - 2000 - In Don Ross, Andrew Brook & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.
Cognition, Natural Selection, and the Intentional Stance.Daisie M. Radner & Michael Radner - 1995 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (2):109-19.
On the Evolution of Intentionality as Seen From the Intentional Stance.Jeffrey E. Foss - 1994 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):287-310.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
316 ( #10,746 of 2,210,226 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #21,526 of 2,210,226 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature