Philosophical Psychology (5):1-20 (2014)

In opposition to mainstream theory of mind approaches, some contemporary perceptual accounts of social cognition do not consider the central question of social cognition to be the problem of access to other minds. These perceptual accounts draw heavily on phenomenological philosophy and propose that others' mental states are “directly” given in the perception of the others' expressive behavior. Furthermore, these accounts contend that phenomenological insights into the nature of social perception lead to the dissolution of the access problem. We argue, on the contrary, that the access problem is a genuine problem that must be addressed by any account of social cognition, perceptual or non-perceptual, because we cannot cast the access problem as a false problem without violating certain fundamental intuitions about other minds. We elaborate the fundamental intuitions as three constraints on any theory of social perception: the Immediacy constraint; the Transcendence constraint; and the Accessibility constraint. We conclude with an outline of an account of perceiving other minds that meets the three constraints.
Keywords Perception  Problem of access  social cognition  theory of mind
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2014.895935
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Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Individuals.P. F. Strawson - 1964 - Routledge.

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Seeing What You Want.William E. S. McNeill - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:554-564.

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