Mindshaping and the intentional control of the mind

In Fabio Paglieri (ed.), Consciousness in Interaction: The role of the natural and social context in shaping consciousness. John Benjamins (2012)
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Abstract

Understanding and controlling our minds is one of the most fascinating features of human cognition. It has often been assumed that this ability requires a theoretical understanding of psychological states. This assumption has recently been put under pressure by so called mindshaping approaches. We agree that these approaches provide us with a new way of self-understanding and that they enable a very powerful form of self-regulation which we label narrative control. However, we insist that there still is a crucial role for a theoretical understanding of psychological states in human cognition. We argue that this is because a theoretical understanding is necessary for all intentional control of the mind. Keywords: mindreading; mindshaping; narrative control; manipulative control; folk psychology

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Tillmann Vierkant
University of Edinburgh