Mindreading: An Integrated Account of Pretence, - download pdf or read online

By Shaun Nichols

ISBN-10: 0198236093

ISBN-13: 9780198236092

ISBN-10: 0198236107

ISBN-13: 9780198236108

The standard ability to appreciate the brain, or 'mindreading', performs a huge position in our traditional lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich offer an in depth and built-in account of the complex net of psychological elements underlying this interesting and multifarious ability. The mind's eye, they argue, is key to figuring out others, and there are targeted cognitive mechanisms for knowing oneself. The account that emerges has vast implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the prestige of folks psychology.Mindreading is one other trailblazing quantity within the prestigious interdisciplinary Oxford Cognitive technology sequence.

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Additional info for Mindreading: An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds (Oxford Cognitive Science)

Example text

As we have told the story, when the inference mechanism is elaborating the pretend world description in the PWB it gets to look at what has been placed in the PWB and at everything in the Belief Box. This clearly cannot be right, since it will typically be the case that one or more of the representations in the PWB is incompatible with something in the Belief Box. The pretender believes that the cup is empty (not full), that the banana is a banana (not a telephone), that he is a live person (not a dead cat), etc.

In Gopnik and Slaughter's experi­ ment, all the children (3-and 4-year-olds) performed at ceiling on remember­ ing pretences in the recent past, but most of the younger children (3-year-olds) were unable to attribute to themselves false beliefs that they had recently held. A theory of pretence should be able to explain how the pretender's cognitive system succeeds in keeping what is really believed separate from what is pretended. While the contents of pretence episodes usually do not affect what the pretender really believes, pretence can often have a significant effect on other mental states.

We will call this mechanism the UpDater. And since the UpDater is required for the smooth operation of everyday cognition, it looks like we have reason to add another box to our A Cog n it ive Theory of Pret e n c e 31 sketch of mental architecture. Some theorists might wish to portray the UpDater as a separate processing mechanism. But we are inclined to think it is best viewed as a subsystem in the inference mechanism, as indicated in Figure 2. 1 . We have already assumed that the inference mechanism which is used in the formation of real beliefs can also work on representations in the PWB.

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Mindreading: An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds (Oxford Cognitive Science) by Shaun Nichols


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