Seeing Goal-Directedness: A Case for Social Perception

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):855-879 (2020)
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This article focuses on social perception, an area of research that lies at the interface between the philosophy of perception and the scientific investigation of human social cognition. Some philosophers and psychologists appeal to resonance mechanisms to show that intentional and goal-directed actions can be perceived. Against these approaches, I show that there is a class of simple goal-directed actions, whose perception does not rely on resonance. I discuss the role of the superior temporal sulcus as the possible neural correlate of perception of goal-directed actions. My proposal is intermediate between claims according to which we perceive intentional actions and claims according to which we cannot perceive goal-directed actions. 1Preliminary Clarifications and Methodology2Does the Perception of Goal-Directed Actions Rest on Resonance?3What Are the Neural Correlates of Social Perception?4From Neural Correlates to the Experience of Goal-Directed Actions5The Development of the Perception of Goal-Directed Actions: A Possible New Role for Resonance6Conclusion: Seeing Goal-Directedness of Actions and Social Perception

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Joulia Smortchkova
University Of Oxford

Citations of this work

Representational Kinds.Joulia Smortchkova & Michael Murez - forthcoming - In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), What are Mental Representations? New York, État de New York, États-Unis:
Does Empirical Evidence Support Perceptual Mindreading?Joulia Smortchkova - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):298-306.

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References found in this work

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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