Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1435-1454 (2015)
AbstractOur knowledge of each others’ mental features is sometimes epistemically basic or non-inferential. The alternative to this claim is Inferentialism, the view that such knowledge is always epistemically inferential. Here, I argue that Inferentialism is not plausible. My argument takes the form of an inference to the best explanation. Given the nature of the task involved in recognizing what mental features others have on particular occasions, and our capacity to perform that task, we should not expect always to find good inferential explanations of our knowledge. This conclusion is an epistemological one. The motivation for it is independent of metaphysical concerns about functionalism or about the best way to model the cognitive architecture which produces our knowledge of others’ minds. Given this it is compatible both with the truth of functionalism and theory–theory construed as a cognitive model
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Citations of this work
Perception, Evidence, and our Expressive Knowledge of Others' Minds.Anil Gomes - 2019 - In Matthew Parrott & Anita Avramides (eds.), Knowing Other Minds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
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Mindreading: An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds.Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Psychophysical and theoretical identifications.David K. Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.