Without pretense: a critique of Goldman’s model of simulation

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):561-575 (2015)
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In this paper I criticize Alvin Goldman's simulation theory of mindreading which involves the claim that the basic method of folk psychologically predicting behaviour is to form pretend beliefs and desires that reproduce the transitions between the mental states of others, in that way enabling to predict what the others are going to do. I argue that when it comes to simulating propositional attitudes it isn't clear whether pretend beliefs need to be invoked in order to explain relevant experimental results, and whether pretend desires can be distinguished from 'real' ones as forming a separate kind of mental states. Since belief-desire model underlies the conception of pretend states in higher-level mindreading, dropping pretend attitudes from the picture isn't possible and, due to that, this model may be incoherent. Nevertheless, Goldman's theory could still survive because it includes an additional model of mindreading, but simulation is given much lesser role there



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Uku Tooming
University of Tartu

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What is Estonian Philosophy?Margit Sutrop - 2015 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 8 (2):4-64.

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