Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):235-257 (2017)
AbstractNativists about theory of mind have typically explained why children below the age of four fail the false belief task by appealing to the demands that these tasks place on children’s developing executive abilities. However, this appeal to executive functioning cannot explain a wide range of evidence showing that social and linguistic factors also affect when children pass this task. In this paper, I present a revised nativist proposal about theory of mind development that is able to accommodate these findings, which I call the pragmatic development account. According to this proposal, we can gain a better understanding of the shift in children’s performance on standard false-belief tasks around four years of age by considering how children’s experiences with the pragmatics of belief discourse affect the way they interpret the task.
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Citations of this work
Pragmatic Development Explains the Theory-of-Mind Scale.Evan Westra & Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Cognition 158 (C):165-176.
Mindreading Beyond Belief: A More Comprehensive Conception of How We Understand Others.Shannon Spaulding - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12526.
The Situational Mental File Account of the False Belief Tasks: A New Solution of the Paradox of False Belief Understanding.Albert Newen & Julia Wolf - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):717-744.
References found in this work
Beliefs About Beliefs: Representation and Constraining Function of Wrong Beliefs in Young Children's Understanding of Deception.H. Wimmer - 1983 - Cognition 13 (1):103-128.