Action, mindreading and embodied social cognition
- 501 Downloads
One of the central insights of the embodied cognition (EC) movement is that cognition is closely tied to action. In this paper, I formulate an EC-inspired hypothesis concerning social cognition. In this domain, most think that our capacity to understand and interact with one another is best explained by appeal to some form of mindreading. I argue that prominent accounts of mindreading likely contain a significant lacuna. Evidence indicates that what I call an agent’s actional processes and states—her goals, needs, intentions, desires, and so on—likely play important roles in and for mindreading processes. If so, a full understanding of mindreading processes and their role in cognition more broadly will require an understanding of how actional mental processes interact with, influence, or take part in mindreading processes.
KeywordsEmbodied cognition Social cognition Mindreading Social psychology Action
The author would like to thank Mike Kaschak and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper, as well as members of the Mindreading Reading Group for helpful discussion on relevant issues.
- Carruthers, P. (2006). The architecture of the mind. Clarendon, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gallagher, S. (2001). The practice of mind: theory, simulation, or primary interaction. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8(5–7), 83–108.Google Scholar
- Gallagher, S., & Hutto, D. (2008). Understanding others through primary interaction and narrative practice. In J. Zlatev, T. P. Racine, C. Sinha, & E. Itkonen (Eds.), The shared mind: Perspectives on intersubjectivity (pp. 17–38). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
- Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Glenberg, A. M. (2010). Embodiment as a unifying perspective for psychology. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1(4), 586–596.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. J. (2006). Simulating minds: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of mindreading. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hutto, D. D. (2008). Folk psychological narratives: The sociocultural basis of understanding reasons. MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Ickes, W., & Simpson, J. A. (1997). Managing empathic accuracy in close relationships. In W. Ickes (Ed.), Empathic accuracy (pp. 218–250). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Ickes, W., & Simpson, J. A. (2001). Motivational aspects of empathic accuracy. In G. J. O. Fletcher & M. Clark (Eds.), The Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Interpersonal processes (pp. 229–249). Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- Ickes, W., Simpson, J. A., & Minda Oriña, M. (2005). Empathic accuracy and inaccuracy in close relationships. In B. F. Malle & S. D. Hodges (Eds.), Other minds: How humans bridge the divide between self and others (pp. 310–333). New York: The Guilford.Google Scholar
- Malle, B. F. (2004). How the mind explain behavior: Folk explanations, meaning, and social interaction. MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Nanay, B. (2010). Action-oriented perception. European Journal of Philosophy. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2010.00407.x.
- O’Regan, J. K., & Noe, A. (2001). A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(5), 883–917.Google Scholar
- Safran Foer, J. (2005). Extremely loud and incredibly close. Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Shanton, K., & Goldman, A. (2010). Simulation theory. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1(4), 527–538.Google Scholar