We contrast two positions concerning the initial domain of actions that infants interpret as goal-directed. The 'narrow scope' view holds that goal-attribution in 6- and 9-month-olds is restricted to highly familiar actions (such as grasping) (). The cue-based approach of the infant's 'teleological stance' (), however, predicts that if the cues of equifinal variation of action and a salient action effect are present, young infants can attribute goals to a 'wide scope' of entities including unfamiliar human actions and actions of (...) novel objects lacking human features. It is argued that previous failures to show goal-attribution to unfamiliar actions were due to the absence of these cues. We report a modified replication of showing that when a salient action-effect is presented, even young infants can attribute a goal to an unfamiliar manual action. This study together with other recent experiments reviewed support the 'wide scope' approach indicating that if the cues of goal-directedness are present even 6-month-olds attribute goals to unfamiliar actions. (shrink)
Tomasello et al.'s two prerequisites, we argue, are not sufficient to explain the emergence of Joint Collaboration. An adequate account must include the human-specific capacity to communicate relevant information (that may have initially evolved to ensure efficient cultural learning). This, together with understanding intentional actions, does provide sufficient preconditions for Joint Collaboration without the need to postulate a primary human motive to share others' psychological states.
Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential,autonoeticcharacter. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the (...) past. Instead, empirical findings suggest that the contents of human episodic memory are often constructed in the service of the explicit justification of such beliefs. Existing accounts of episodic memory function that have focused on explaining its constructive character through its role in future-oriented mental time travel do justice neither to its capacity to ground veridical beliefs about the past nor to its representational format. We provide an account of the metarepresentational structure of episodic memory in terms of its role in communicative interaction. The generative nature of recollection allows us to represent and communicate the reasons why we hold certain beliefs about the past. In this process, autonoesis corresponds to the capacity to determine when and how to assert epistemic authority in making claims about the past. A domain where such claims are indispensable are human social engagements. Such engagements commonly require the justification of entitlements and obligations, which is often possible only by explicit reference to specific past events. (shrink)
I make three related proposals concerning the development of receptive communication in human infants. First, I propose that the presence of communicative intentions can be recognized in others' behaviour before the content of these intentions is accessed or inferred. Second, I claim that such recognition can be achieved by decoding specialized ostensive signals. Third, I argue on empirical bases that, by decoding ostensive signals, human infants are capable of recognizing communicative intentions addressed to them. Thus, learning about actual modes of (...) communication benefits from, and is guided by, infants' preparedness to detect infant-directed ostensive communication. (shrink)
The current study investigates the effects of green advertising and a corporation’s environmental performance on brand attitudes and purchase intentions. A 3 × 3 (firm’s environmental performance and its advertising efforts as independent variables) experiment using n = 302 subjects was conducted. Results indicate that the negative effect of a firm’s low performance on brand attitudes becomes stronger in the presence of green advertising compared to general corporate advertising and no advertising. Further, when the firm’s environmental performance is high, both (...) green and general corporate advertising result in more unfavorable brand attitudes than no advertising. The study’s counter-intuitive findings are explained by attribution theory. (shrink)
Our approach aims at accounting for causal claims in terms of how the physical states of the underlying dynamical system evolve with time. Causal claims assert connections between two sets of physicals states—their truth depends on whether the two sets in question are genuinely connected by time evolution such that physical states from one set evolve with time into the states of the other set. We demonstrate the virtues of our approach by showing how it is able to account for (...) typical causes, causally relevant factors, being ‘the’ cause, and cases of overdetermination and causation by absences. (shrink)
This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For the mechanistic approach to succeed a mechanism as a whole must do the very same thing what its parts organised in a particular way do. The mechanistic approach must also utilise bridge principles connecting different causal terms of different (...) theoretical vocabularies in order to make the identities of causal connections transparent. These general commitments get confronted with two claims made by certain proponents of the mechanistic approach: William Bechtel often argues that within the mechanistic framework it is possible to balance between reducing higher levels and maintaining their autonomy at the same time, whereas, in a recent paper, Craver and Bechtel argue that the mechanistic approach is able to make downward causation intelligible. The paper concludes that the mechanistic approach imbued with identity statements is no better candidate for anchoring higher levels to lower ones while maintaining their autonomy at the same time than standard reductive accounts are, and that what mechanistic explanations are able to do at best is showing that downward causation does not exist. (shrink)