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Mason Westfall
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. Other Minds Are Neither Seen nor Inferred.Mason Westfall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11977-11997.
    How do we know about other minds on the basis of perception? The two most common answers to this question are that we literally perceive others’ mental states, or that we infer their mental states on the basis of perceiving something else. In this paper, I argue for a different answer. On my view, we don’t perceive mental states, and yet perceptual experiences often immediately justify mental state attributions. In a slogan: other minds are neither seen nor inferred. I argue (...)
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  2. Constructing Persons: On the Personal–Subpersonal Distinction.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-29.
    What’s the difference between those psychological posits that are ‘me’ and those that are not? Distinguishing between these psychological kinds is important in many domains, but an account of what the distinction consists in is challenging. I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I suggest that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level—the plurality problem. The things that plausibly qualify (...)
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  3. Perceiving Agency.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    When we look around the world, some things are inert and others are ‘alive’. What is it to ‘look alive’? An account of animacy perception is crucial, both for a proper understanding of visual experience, and for downstream questions about the epistemology of social cognition. I argue that empirical work on animacy supports the view that animacy is genuinely perceptual. We should construe perception of animacy as perception of agents and perception of behavior. My proposal explains how static and dynamic (...)
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