, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 149-173

Seeing mind in action

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Abstract

Much recent work on social cognition and empathy in philosophy of mind and cognitive science has been guided by the assumption that minds are composed of intracranial phenomena, perceptually inaccessible and thus unobservable to everyone but their owners. I challenge this claim. I defend the view that at least some mental states and processes—or at least some parts of some mental states and processes—are at times visible, capable of being directly perceived by others. I further argue that, despite its initial implausibility, this view receives robust support from several strands of empirical research.