The implicit-explicit distinction is applied to knowledge representations. Knowledge is taken to be an attitude towards a proposition which is true. The proposition itself predicates a property to some entity. A number of ways in which knowledge can be implicit or explicit emerge. If a higher aspect is known explicitly then each lower one must also be known explicitly. This partial hierarchy reduces the number of ways in which knowledge can be explicit. In the most important type of implicit knowledge, (...) representations merely reflect the property of objects or events without predicating them of any particular entity The dearest cases of explicit knowledge of a fact are representations of one's own attitude of knowing that fact. These distinctions are discussed in their relationship to similar distinctions such as procedural-declarative, conscious unconscious, verbalizable-nonverbalizable, direct-indirect tests, and automatic voluntary control. This is followed by an outline of how these distinctions can be used to integrate and relate the often divergent uses of the implicit-explicit distinction in different research areas. We illustrate this for visual perception, memory, cognitive development, and artificial grammar learning. (shrink)
Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children’s ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an ‘implicit’ understanding of belief occurs before an ‘explicit’ understanding. The central idea behind our explanation is the emerging grasp of how objects of thought and desire relate to real objects and to each other. To capture (...) this idea we make use of the notion of discourse referents, as did Perner and Brandl (2005), to explain the developmental link between understanding beliefs and alternative naming. We present confirming evidence of the prediction from this analysis that children should have comparable problems with understanding identity statements. We explain the precociously correct answers in ‘implicit’ false belief tests based on indirect measures in the following way: From infancy children are able to keep track of other people’s experiences, to reason about counterfactual circumstances, and to reason about goal-directed (rational) action depending on given circumstances. Indirect tasks reduce the bias to use actual circumstances for reasoning about goal directed action compared to the traditional task, which leads to more correct answers. An emerging metarepresentational understanding helps overcome these biases and enables not only correct action prediction but also the explanation of erroneous actions. The common metarepresentational element explains why false belief tasks and the alternative naming task are mastered at the same time as children understand identity statements. (shrink)
We provide a cognitive analysis of how children represent belief using mental files. We explain why children who pass the false belief test are not aware of the intensionality of belief. Fifty-one 3½- to 7-year old children were familiarized with a dual object, e.g., a ball that rattles and is described as a rattle. They observed how a puppet agent witnessed the ball being put into box 1. In the agent’s absence the ball was taken from box 1, the child (...) was reminded of it being a rattle, and emphasising its being a rattle it was put back into box 1. Then the agent returned, the object was hidden in the experimenter’s hands and removed from box 1, described as a ‘‘rattle,” and transferred to box 2. Children who passed false belief had no problem saying where the puppet would look for the ball. However, in a different condition in which the agent was also shown that the ball was a rattle they erroneously said that the agent would look for the ball in box 1, ignoring the agent’s knowledge of the identity of rattle and ball. Their problems cease with their mastery of second-order beliefs. Problems also vanish when the ball is described not as a rattle but as a thing that rattles. We describe how our theory can account for these data as well as all other relevant data in the literature. (shrink)
We use mental files to present an analysis of children's developing understanding of identity in alternative naming tasks and belief. The core assumption is that younger children below the age of about 4 years create different files for an object depending on how the object is individuated. They can anchor them to the same object, hence think of the same object whether they think of it as a rabbit or as an animal. However, the claim is, they cannot yet link (...) their files to one another to represent that they have the same referent. Without linking the information contained in one file is not available in the other file. Hence, when thinking of the object as a rabbit the information that it is also an animal is not available. For representing a person's belief about an object a vicarious file contains what the person believes about the object. To capture that the belief is about that object the vicarious file has to be linked to the regular file, which by assumption children younger than 4 years cannot do. This assumption can therefore explain why problems with alternative naming and understanding false beliefs are overcome at the same age. (shrink)
We investigate the common development of children’s ability to “look back in time” and to “look into the future” . Experiment 1 with 59 children 5 to 8.5 years old showed mental rotation, as a measure of prospection, explaining specific variance of free recall, as a measure of episodic remembering when controlled for cued recall. Experiment 2 with 31 children from 5 to 6.5 years measured episodic remembering with recall of visually experienced events when controlling for recall of indirectly conveyed (...) events . Quite unexpectedly rotators were markedly worse on indirect items than non-rotators. We speculate that with the ability to rotate children switch from knowledge retrieval to episodic remembering, which maintains success for experienced events but has detrimental effects for indirect information. (shrink)
We argue that episodic remembering, understood as the ability to re-experience past events, requires a particular kind of introspective ability and understanding. It requires the understanding that first person experiences can represent actual events. In this respect it differs from the understanding required by the traditional false belief test for children, where a third person attribution (to others or self) of a behavior governing representation is sufficient. The understanding of first person experiences as representations is also required for problem solving (...) with images. In support of this argument we review developmental evidence that children's episodic remembering is independent of and emerges after mastery of the false belief task but emerges together with the use of imagery for solving visual rotation tasks. (shrink)
We develop a criterion for telling when integrating two pieces of information, e.g. two pictures or statements requires an understanding of perspective. Problems that require such an understanding are perspective problems. With this criterion we can show that understanding false beliefs vis-à-vis reality pose a perspective problem, so does understanding spatial descriptions given from different viewing points (a classical example of what is commonly seen as a problem of perspective) and individuating objects with different sortals (naming objects). We use the (...) result that understanding false belief as well as alternative naming of objects are both perspective problems to explain the otherwise inexplicable developmental finding that children master these two tasks at about the same time, around the age of 4 years. (shrink)
When do children become consciously aware of events in the world? Five possible strategies are considered for their usefulness in determining the age in question. Three of these strategies ask when children show signs of engaging in activities for which conscious awareness seems necessary in adults , and two of the strategies consider when children have the ability to have the minimal form of higher-order thought necessary for access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness, respectively. The tentative answer to the guiding question (...) is that children become consciously aware between 12 and 15 months. (shrink)
Evidence for infants' sensitivity to behavior being goal oriented leaves it open as to whether they see such behavior as being designed to lead to an external goal or whether they see it, in addition, as being directed by an internal representation of the goal. We point out the difficulty of finding possible criteria for how infants or children view this matter.
Theories of mind draw on processes that represent mental states and their computational connections; simulation, in addition, draws on processes that replicate (Heal 1986 ) a sequence of mental states. Moreover, mental simulation can be triggered by input from imagination instead of real perceptions. To avoid confusion between mental states concerning reality and those created in simulation, imagined contents must be quarantined. Goldman bypasses this problem by giving pretend states a special role to play in simulation (Goldman 2006 ). We (...) argue that this path leads to the resurgence of the threat of collapse (Davies 1994 ), diluting the principled distinction between simulation and theory use. Exploration of a related method of real-mental states operating in a pretend mode leads to a factually untenable model. Our main goal here is to raise this problem as a challenge for Goldman’s reconfigured simulation theory. Only at the end we will briefly sketch a possible alternative way of quarantine that preserves the replicative element of simulation and avoids collapse. Figure 1 provides a guide to our argument. (shrink)
It has been found that children appreciate the limited substitutability of co-referential terms in opaque contexts a year or two after they pass false belief tasks (e.g. Apperly and Robinson, 1998, 2001, 2003). This paper aims to explain this delay. Three- to six-year-old children were tested with stories where a protagonist was either only partially informed or had a false belief about a particular object. Only a few children had problems predicting the protagonist’s action based on his partial knowledge, when (...) he was only partially informed about a property of the desired object (e.g. he knew that it was a Lego® block, but not that it was a red Lego® block). But many had problems making the correct action prediction when he was only partially informed about dual identities (e.g. he knew it was a dog, but not that it was also an eraser). About as many children made an incorrect action prediction for partial knowledge problems involving dual identity as answered higher-order belief questions incorrectly. In contrast many more children answered first-order false belief questions correctly, as many as correct action predictions when the protagonist was partially informed about a property of an object. The results support the claim that children have a specific problem with dual identity, rather than a broader problem representing partial knowledge. (shrink)
The causal theory of action is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency--the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources while others (...) focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action-oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues. Contributors: Fred Adams, Jesus H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout. (shrink)
In most developmental studies the only error children could make on counterfactual tasks was to answer with the current state of affairs. It was concluded that children who did not show this error are able to reason counterfactually. However, children might have avoided this error by using basic conditional reasoning (Rafetseder, Cristi-Vargas, & Perner, 2010). Basic conditional reasoning takes background assumptions represented as conditionals about how the world works. If an antecedent of one of these conditionals is provided by the (...) task, then a likely conclusion can be inferred based only on background assumptions. A critical feature of counterfactual reasoning is that the selection of these additional assumptions is constrained by actual events to which the counterfactual is taken to be counterfactual. In contrast, in basic conditional reasoning one enriches the given antecedent with any plausible assumptions, unconstrained by actual events. In our tasks basic conditional reasoning leads to different answers from counterfactual reasoning. For instance, a doctor, sitting in the park with the intention of reading a paper, is called to an emergency at the swimming pool. The question, “If there had been no emergency, where would the doctor be?” should counterfactually be answered “in the park”. But by ignoring the doctor's intentions, and just reasoning from premises about the default location of a hospital doctor who has not been called out to an emergency, one might answer: “in the hospital”. Only by 6 years of age did children mostly give correct answers. (shrink)
Visual illusions provide important evidence for the co-existence of unconscious and conscious representations. Objects surrounded by other figures are consciously perceived as different in size, while the visuo-motor system supposedly uses an unconscious representation of the discs’ true size for grip size scaling. Recent evidence suggests other factors than represented size, e.g., surrounding rings conceived as obstacles, affect grip size. Use of the diagonal illusion avoids visual obstacles in the path of the reaching hand. Results support the dual representation theory. (...) Grip size scaling follows actual size independent of illusory effects, which clearly bias conscious perception in direct comparisons of lengths and in finger-thumb span indications of perceived length. (shrink)
Three and 4-year-old children were tested on matched versions of Zaitchik's (1990) photo task and Wimmer and Perner's (1983) false belief task. Although replicating Zaitchik's finding that false belief and photo task are of equal difficulty, this applied only to mean performance across subjects and no substantial correlation between the two tasks was found. This suggests that the two tasks tap different intellectual abilities. It was further discovered that children's performance can be improved by drawing their attention to the back (...) of the photo but not by drawing attention to the person holding the false belief. Results are interpreted as showing that children's difficulty with the photo task is due to referential confusion about which scene the question refers to (the picture or reality) while the hurdle in the false belief task is to understand that the believer misrepresents reality. (shrink)
Children approach counterfactual questions about stories with a reasoning strategy that falls short of adults’ Counterfactual Reasoning (CFR). It was dubbed “Basic Conditional Reasoning” (BCR) in Rafetseder et al. (Child Dev 81(1):376–389, 2010). In this paper we provide a characterisation of the differences between BCR and CFR using a distinction between permanent and nonpermanent features of stories and Lewis/Stalnaker counterfactual logic. The critical difference pertains to how consistency between a story and a conditional antecedent incompatible with a nonpermanent feature of (...) the story is achieved. Basic conditional reasoners simply drop all nonpermanent features of the story. Counterfactual reasoners preserve as much of the story as possible while accommodating the antecedent. (shrink)
Since the pioneering work of [Aglioti, S., DeSouza, J. F., & Goodale, M. A. . Size-contrast illusions deceive the eye but not the hand. Current Biology, 5, 679–685] visual illusions have been used to provide evidence for the functional division of labour within the visual system—one system for conscious perception and the other system for unconscious guidance of action. However, these studies were criticised for attentional mismatch between action and perception conditions and for the fact that grip size is not (...) determined by the size of an object but also by surrounding obstacles. Stoettinger and Perner [Stoettinger, E., & Perner, J., . Dissociating size representations for action and for conscious judgment: Grasping visual illusions without apparent obstacles. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 269–284] used the diagonal illusion controlling for the influence of surrounding features on grip size and bimanual grasping to rule out attentional mismatch. Unfortunately, the latter objective was not fully achieved. In the present study, attentional mismatch was avoided by using only the dominant hand for action and for indicating perceived size. Results support the division of labour: Grip aperture follows actual size independent of illusory effects, while finger-thumb span indications of perceived length are clearly influenced by the illusion. (shrink)
In this response, we start from first principles, building up our theory to show more precisely what assumptions we do and do not make about the representational nature of implicit and explicit knowledge (in contrast to the target article, where we started our exposition with a description of a fully fledged representational theory of knowledge (RTK). Along the way, we indicate how our analysis does not rely on linguistic representations but it implies that implicit knowledge is causally efficacious; we discuss (...) the relationship between property structure implicitness and conceptual and nonconceptual content; then we consider the factual, fictional, and functional uses of representations and how we go from there to consciousness. Having shown how the basic theory deals with foundational criticisms, we indicate how the theory can elucidate issues that commentators raised in the particular application areas of explicitation, voluntary control, visual perception, memory, development (with discussion on infancy, theory of mind [TOM] and executive control, gestures), and finally models of learning. (shrink)
Millikan's externalist account of concept acquisition cannot completely avoid the distinction between central (defining) and peripheral (characteristic) features, because some knowledge is required to achieve reference and to decide what kind of information to record about the identified substances. However, the emphasis on external reference may provide the requisite principled way to make this distinction.
There is converging evidence that over the course of the second year children become good at various fairly sophisticated forms of pro-social activities, such as helping, informing and comforting. Not only are toddlers able to do these things, they appear to do them routinely and almost reliably. A striking feature of these interventions, emphasized in the recent literature, is that they show precocious abilities in two different domains: they reflect complex ‘ theory of mind’ abilities as well as ‘altruistic motivation’. (...) Our aim in this paper is to present a theoretical hypothesis that bears on both kinds of developments. The suggestion is that children’s ‘instrumental helping’ reflects their budding understanding of practical reasons. We can put the basic idea in the familiar terminology of common coding : toddlers conceive of the goals of others’ actions in the same format as the goals of their own actions: in terms of features of their situation that provide us with reasons to act. (shrink)
We consider Perruchet & Vinter's (P&V's) central claim that all mental representations are conscious. P&V require some way of fixing their meaning of representation to avoid the claim becoming either obviously false or unfalsifiable. We use the framework of Dienes and Perner (1999) to provide a well-specified possible version of the claim, in which all representations of a minimal degree of explicitness are postulated to be conscious.