How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition

New York, NY, USA: Routledge (2018)

Abstract

In our everyday social interactions, we try to make sense of what people are thinking, why they act as they do, and what they are likely to do next. This process is called mindreading. Mindreading, Shannon Spaulding argues in this book, is central to our ability to understand and interact with others. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have converged on the idea that mindreading involves theorizing about and simulating others’ mental states. She argues that this view of mindreading is limiting and outdated. Most contemporary views of mindreading vastly underrepresent the diversity and complexity of mindreading. She articulates a new theory of mindreading that takes into account cutting edge philosophical and empirical research on in-group/out-group dynamics, social biases, and how our goals and the situational context influence how we interpret others’ behavior. Spaulding's resulting theory of mindreading provides a more accurate, comprehensive, and perhaps pessimistic view of our abilities to understand others, with important epistemological and ethical implications. Deciding who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and competent are epistemically and ethically fraught judgments: her new theory of mindreading sheds light on how these judgments are made and the conditions under which they are unreliable. This book will be of great interest to students of philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, applied epistemology, cognitive science and moral psychology, as well as those interested in conceptual issues in psychology.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-02-13

Downloads
68 (#172,398)

6 months
8 (#90,238)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Shannon Spaulding
Oklahoma State University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

Interpretivism and Norms.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):905-930.
How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7889-7918.
Street Smarts.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):161-180.
Free Actions as a Natural Kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mind Misreading.Shannon Spaulding - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1).
Embodied Cognition and Mindreading.Shannon Spaulding - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (1):119-140.
We Read Minds to Shape Relationships.Vivian Bohl - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):674-694.
A Critique of Embodied Simulation.Shannon Spaulding - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):579-599.
Signature Limits in Mindreading Systems.J. Robert Thompson - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (7):1432-1455.
Action, Mindreading and Embodied Social Cognition.Joshua Shepherd - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):507-518.
Theory of Mind and Non-Human Intelligence.Brandon Tinklenberg - 2016 - Shakelford, T.K. And V.A.Weekes-Shakelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.
Mapping Others: Representation and Mindreading.Adam Green - 2014 - Essays in Philosophy 15 (2):279-298.
Folk Psychology as Mental Simulation.Luca Barlassina & Robert M. Gordon - 2017 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Interacting Mindreaders.Stephen Andrew Butterfill - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):841-863.