Social Constraints on the Direct Perception of Emotions and Intentions

Topoi 33 (1):185-199 (2014)

Authors
Somogy Varga
University of Memphis
Abstract
In this paper, we first review recent arguments about the direct perception of the intentions and emotions of others, emphasizing the role of embodied interaction. We then consider a possible objection to the direct perception hypothesis from social psychology, related to phenomena like ‘dehumanization’ and ‘implicit racial bias’, which manifest themselves on a basic bodily level. On the background of such data, one might object that social perception cannot be direct since it depends on and can in fact be interrupted by a set of cultural beliefs. We argue, however, that far from threatening the idea of direct perception, these findings clearly contradict the idea of hardwired theory of mind modules. More generally, we suggest that in order to further the understanding of social cognition we must take seriously insights about in-group and out-group distinctions and related phenomena, all of which are currently neglected in the mainstream social cognition literature
Keywords Direct perception  Theory theory  Simulation theory  Interaction theory  Embodiment  Dehumanization
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-013-9203-x
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References found in this work BETA

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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On Direct Social Perception.Shannon Spaulding - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:472-482.
The New Hybrids: Continuing Debates on Social Perception.Shaun Gallagher - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:452-465.

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