, Volume 144, Issue 3, pp 431-434
Date: 07 Mar 2009

Précis of Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access
This is an excerpt from the content

In the second half of the twentieth-century, the traditional problem of other minds was re-focused on special problems with propositional attitudes and how we attribute them to others. How do ordinary people, with no education in scientific psychology, understand and ascribe such complex, unobservable states? In different terminology, how do they go about “interpreting” their peers? By charitably presupposing their rationality and assigning them the desires and beliefs that a rational person would have in their circumstances (as Dennett and Davidson proposed)? Many philosophers of mind—perhaps Sellars (1956) was the first—suggested that our grasp of mental states in general and propositional attitudes in particular is based on a folk theory, a set of folk-psychological laws that mediate between stimulus inputs, mental states, and behavioral outputs. Mental states are assigned to others (and even to oneself) by nomological inference from what we know about their observable situation, be