Seeing the Invisible: How to Perceive, Imagine, and Infer the Minds of Others

Erkenntnis 83 (2):205-229 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The psychology and phenomenology of our knowledge of other minds is not well captured either by describing it simply as perception, nor by describing it simply as inference. A better description, I argue, is that our knowledge of other minds involves both through ‘perceptual co-presentation’, in which we experience objects as having aspects that are not revealed. This allows us to say that we perceive other minds, but perceive them as private, i.e. imperceptible, just as we routinely perceive aspects of physical objects as unperceived. I discuss existing versions of this idea, particularly Joel Smith’s, on which it is taken to imply that our knowledge of other minds is, in these cases, perceptual and not inferential. Against this, I argue that perceptual co-presentation in general, and mind-perception in particular, yields knowledge that is simultaneously both perceptual and inferential.

Similar books and articles

Perception, Evidence, and our Expressive Knowledge of Others' Minds.Anil Gomes - 2019 - In Anita Avramides & Matthew Parrott (eds.), Knowing Other Minds. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Embodiment and the Perceptual Hypothesis.William E. S. McNeill - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):569 - 591.
Expressions, Looks and Others' Minds.William E. S. McNeill - 2000 - In Anita Avramides (ed.), Other Minds. New York: Routledge.
Other minds are neither seen nor inferred.Mason Westfall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11977-11997.
Knowledge of Other Minds in Davidson's Philosophy.Anita Avramides - 2013 - In Ernie Lepore & Kurt Ludwig (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Donald Davidson. Blackwell. pp. 550–564.
Seeing People and Knowing You: Perception, Shared Knowledge, and Acknowledgment.Stina Bäckström - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (4):55--73.
Perceptual Content.Michael George Idinopulos - 1998 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
The Look of Another Mind.Matthew Parrott - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1023-1061.


Added to PP

172 (#22,391)

6 months
490 (#40,420)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Luke Roelofs
New York University

Citations of this work

Perceiving the event of emotion.Rebecca Rowson - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Meditations on First Philosophy.René Descartes - 1984 [1641] - Ann Arbor: Caravan Books. Edited by Stanley Tweyman.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.

View all 54 references / Add more references