Skip to main content

Basic social cognition without mindreading: minding minds without attributing contents

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses (MRHs), of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses (CBRHs). Following Buckner (Mind Lang 29:566–589, 2014), it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that satisfy a teleological criterion have the ability to put CBRHs out of play. Yet, against this backdrop, a new competitor for MRHs is revealed: mind minding hypothesis (MMHs). MMHs are capable of explaining all the known facts about basic forms of social cognition and they also satisfy the teleological criterion. In conclusion, some objections concerning the theoretical tenability of MMHs are addressed and prospects for further research are canvassed.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Hutto, D. D. (2017). Basic social cognition without mindreading: minding minds without attributing contents. Synthese, 194 (3), 827-846.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84937855425

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2076

Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 827

End Page


  • 846

Volume


  • 194

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • Netherlands

Abstract


  • This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses (MRHs), of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses (CBRHs). Following Buckner (Mind Lang 29:566–589, 2014), it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that satisfy a teleological criterion have the ability to put CBRHs out of play. Yet, against this backdrop, a new competitor for MRHs is revealed: mind minding hypothesis (MMHs). MMHs are capable of explaining all the known facts about basic forms of social cognition and they also satisfy the teleological criterion. In conclusion, some objections concerning the theoretical tenability of MMHs are addressed and prospects for further research are canvassed.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Hutto, D. D. (2017). Basic social cognition without mindreading: minding minds without attributing contents. Synthese, 194 (3), 827-846.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84937855425

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2076

Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 827

End Page


  • 846

Volume


  • 194

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • Netherlands