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First communions: Mimetic sharing without theory of mind

Chapter


Abstract


  • It is widely held that the gradual development of metarepresentational Theory

    of Mind (ToM) abilities constituted at least one important hominid upgrade.

    Are such abilities really needed to explain hominid (i) tool-making, (ii) social

    cohesion, or even (iii) basic interpretative apd language formation/learning

    capabilities? I propose an alternative explanation of what underlies these sophisticated

    capacities - the Mimetic Ability Hypothesis (MAH). MAH claims that

    a vastly increased capacity for recreative imagination best explains the kinds of

    sophisticated intersubjective engagements of which hominids would have been

    capable - and that these constituted an important basis for the development of

    complex language. This proposal puts the idea of the evolution of ToM devices

    under considerable strain.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Hutto, D. (2008). First communions: Mimetic sharing without theory of mind. In J. Zlatev, T. P. Racine, C. Sinha & E. Itkonen (Eds.), The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity (pp. 245-276). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/938

Book Title


  • The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity

Start Page


  • 245

End Page


  • 276

Abstract


  • It is widely held that the gradual development of metarepresentational Theory

    of Mind (ToM) abilities constituted at least one important hominid upgrade.

    Are such abilities really needed to explain hominid (i) tool-making, (ii) social

    cohesion, or even (iii) basic interpretative apd language formation/learning

    capabilities? I propose an alternative explanation of what underlies these sophisticated

    capacities - the Mimetic Ability Hypothesis (MAH). MAH claims that

    a vastly increased capacity for recreative imagination best explains the kinds of

    sophisticated intersubjective engagements of which hominids would have been

    capable - and that these constituted an important basis for the development of

    complex language. This proposal puts the idea of the evolution of ToM devices

    under considerable strain.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Hutto, D. (2008). First communions: Mimetic sharing without theory of mind. In J. Zlatev, T. P. Racine, C. Sinha & E. Itkonen (Eds.), The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity (pp. 245-276). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/938

Book Title


  • The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity

Start Page


  • 245

End Page


  • 276