The evolution and development of visual perspective taking

Mind and Language 34 (2):183-204 (2019)

Authors
Ben Phillips
Arizona State University
Abstract
I outline three conceptions of seeing that a creature might possess: ‘the headlamp conception,’ which involves an understanding of the causal connections between gazing at an object, certain mental states, and behavior; ‘the stage lights conception,’ which involves an understanding of the selective nature of visual attention; and seeing-as. I argue that infants and various nonhumans possess the headlamp conception. There is also evidence that chimpanzees and 3-year-old children have some grasp of seeing-as. However, due to a dearth of studies, there is no evidence that infants or nonhumans possess the stage lights conception of seeing. I outline the kinds of experiments that are needed, and what we stand to learn about the evolution and development of perspective taking.
Keywords visual perspective taking   theory of mind   mindreading
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12214
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False-Belief Understanding in Infants.Renée Baillargeon, Rose M. Scott & Zijing He - 2010 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):110-118.
Explaining Behaviour: Reasons in a World of Causes.Fred DRETSKE - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):95-102.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind? 30 Years Later.Josep Call & Michael Tomasello - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (5):187-192.
A Theory of Content and Other Essays.Jerry FODOR - 1990 - Erkenntnis 38 (1):135-138.

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