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Understanding others through primary interaction and narrative practice

Chapter


Abstract


  • We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as "theory theory" and

    "simulation theory", are both problematic and not needed. They account for

    neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true

    basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed.

    Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the

    purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements,

    gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen's notion of primary intersubjectivity

    can provide a theoretical framework for understanding these capabilities and

    his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic

    contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of

    resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports

    this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied "Interaction

    Theory" of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions

    in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is

    required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the

    Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters

    with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children

    acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make

    sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is

    that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to

    answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative

    competency and its development.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Gallagher, S. A. & 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, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9789027239006

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/937

Book Title


  • The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity

Start Page


  • 17

End Page


  • 38

Place Of Publication


  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

Abstract


  • We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as "theory theory" and

    "simulation theory", are both problematic and not needed. They account for

    neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true

    basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed.

    Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the

    purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements,

    gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen's notion of primary intersubjectivity

    can provide a theoretical framework for understanding these capabilities and

    his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic

    contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of

    resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports

    this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied "Interaction

    Theory" of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions

    in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is

    required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the

    Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters

    with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children

    acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make

    sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is

    that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to

    answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative

    competency and its development.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Gallagher, S. A. & 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, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9789027239006

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/937

Book Title


  • The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity

Start Page


  • 17

End Page


  • 38

Place Of Publication


  • Amsterdam, Netherlands