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Mitchell Herschbach
California State University, Northridge
  1. Folk Psychological and Phenomenological Accounts of Social Perception.Mitchell Herschbach - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (3):223 – 235.
    Theory theory and simulation theory share the assumption that mental states are unobservable, such that mental state attribution requires an extra psychological step beyond perception. Phenomenologists deny this, contending that we can directly perceive people's mental states. Here I evaluate objections to theory theory and simulation theory as accounts of everyday social perception offered by Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher. I agree that their phenomenological claims have bite at the personal level, distinguishing direct social perception from conscious theorizing and simulation. (...)
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    Editorial: Social Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives.Daniel D. Hutto, Mitchell Herschbach & Victoria Southgate - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):375-395.
    Human beings, even very young infants, and members of several other species, exhibit remarkable capacities for attending to and engaging with others. These basic capacities have been the subject of intense research in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind over the last several decades. Appropriately characterizing the exact level and nature of these abilities and what lies at their basis continues to prove a tricky business. The contributions to this special issue investigate whether and to (...)
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  3. On the Role of Social Interaction in Social Cognition: A Mechanistic Alternative to Enactivism.Mitchell Herschbach - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):467-486.
    Researchers in the enactivist tradition have recently argued that social interaction can constitute social cognition, rather than simply serve as the context for social cognition. They contend that a focus on social interaction corrects the overemphasis on mechanisms inside the individual in the explanation of social cognition. I critically assess enactivism’s claims about the explanatory role of social interaction in social cognition. After sketching the enactivist approach to cognition in general and social cognition in particular, I identify problems with an (...)
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  4. The Concept of Simulation in Control-Theoretic Accounts of Motor Control and Action Perception.Mitchell Herschbach - 2008 - In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 315--20.
    Control theory is a popular theoretical framework for explaining cognitive domains such as motor control and “mindreading.” Such accounts frequently characterize their “internal models” as “simulating” things outside the brain. But in what sense are these “simulations”? Do they involve the kind of “replication” simulation found in the simulation theory of mindreading? I will argue that some but not all control -theoretic appeals to “simulation” involve R-simulation. To do so, I examine in detail a recent computational model of motor control (...)
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  5. Direct Social Perception and Dual Process Theories of Mindreading.Mitchell Herschbach - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:483-497.
    The direct social perception thesis claims that we can directly perceive some mental states of other people. The direct perception of mental states has been formulated phenomenologically and psychologically, and typically restricted to the mental state types of intentions and emotions. I will compare DSP to another account of mindreading: dual process accounts that posit a fast, automatic “Type 1” form of mindreading and a slow, effortful “Type 2” form. I will here analyze whether dual process accounts’ Type 1 mindreading (...)
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    Critical Note: How Revisionary Are 4E Accounts of Social Cognition?Mitchell Herschbach - 2018 - In Albert Newen, Leon De Bruin & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition. Oxford, UK: pp. 513-525.
    I argue that the chapters in this section only modestly challenge the “traditional min- dreading account,” which sees the capacity for mental state attribution as central to human social cognition. This internalist, cognitivist account has already been refined in recent years to give greater attention to unreflective, dynamic social interaction and non-mindreading processes. The chapters here support a kind of embodied social cognition that does not involve mindreading. They also support the idea that an embedded/situated cognition perspective can inform the (...)
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  7. Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences.William Bechtel & Mitchell Herschbach - 2010 - In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 239--261.
    Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research endeavor focusing on human cognitive phenomena such as memory, language use, and reasoning. It emerged in the second half of the 20th century and is charting new directions at the beginning of the 21st century. This chapter begins by identifying the disciplines that contribute to cognitive science and reviewing the history of the interdisciplinary engagements that characterize it. The second section examines the role that mechanistic explanation plays in cognitive science, while the third focuses (...)
     
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  8. False-Belief Understanding and the Phenomenological Critics of Folk Psychology.Mitchell Herschbach - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (12):33-56.
    The dominant account of human social understanding is that we possess a 'folk psychology', that we understand and can interact with other people because we appreciate their mental states. Recently, however, philosophers from the phenomenological tradition have called into question the scope of the folk psychological account and argued for the importance of 'online', non-mentalistic forms of social understanding. In this paper I critically evaluate the arguments of these phenomenological critics, arguing that folk psychology plays a larger role in human (...)
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  9. Mirroring Versus Simulation: On the Representational Function of Simulation.Mitchell Herschbach - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):483-513.
    Mirror neurons and systems are often appealed to as mechanisms enabling mindreading, i.e., understanding other people’s mental states. Such neural mirroring processes are often treated as instances of mental simulation rather than folk psychological theorizing. I will call into question this assumed connection between mirroring and simulation, arguing that mirroring does not necessarily constitute mental simulation as specified by the simulation theory of mindreading. I begin by more precisely characterizing “mirroring” (Sect. 2) and “simulation” (Sect. 3). Mirroring results in a (...)
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  10. Mental Mechanisms and Psychological Construction.Mitchell Herschbach & William Bechtel - 2014 - In Lisa Feldman Barrett & James Russell (eds.), The Psychological Construction of Emotion. Guilford Press. pp. 21-44.
    Psychological construction represents an important new approach to psychological phenomena, one that has the promise to help us reconceptualize the mind both as a behavioral and as a biological system. It has so far been developed in the greatest detail for emotion, but it has important implications for how researchers approach other mental phenomena such as reasoning, memory, and language use. Its key contention is that phenomena that are characterized in (folk) psychological vocabulary are not themselves basic features of the (...)
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    Relating Bayes to Cognitive Mechanisms.Mitchell Herschbach & William Bechtel - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (4):202-203.
    We support Enlightenment Bayesianism's commitment to grounding Bayesian analysis in empirical details of psychological and neural mechanisms. Recent philosophical accounts of mechanistic science illuminate some of the challenges this approach faces. In particular, mechanistic decomposition of mechanisms into their component parts and operations gives rise to a notion of levels distinct from and more challenging to accommodate than Marr's.
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