Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Weiskopf

Second Advisor

Dr. George Graham

Third Advisor

Dr. Eddy Nahmias

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Andrea Scarantino

Abstract

Mindreading is the capacity to attribute psychological states to others and to use those attributions to explain, predict, and understand others’ behaviors. In the past thirty years, mindreading has become the topic of substantial interdisciplinary research and theorizing, with philosophers, psychologists and, more recently, neuroscientists, all contributing to the debate about the nature of the neuropsychological mechanisms that constitute the capacity for mindreading. In this thesis I push this debate forward by using recent results from developmental psychology as the basis for critiques of two prominent views of mindreading. First, I argue that the developmental studies provide evidence of infant mindreading and therefore expose a flaw in José Bermúdez’s view that certain forms of mindreading require language possession. Second, I argue that the evidence of infant mindreading can also be used to undermine Alvin Goldman’s version of Simulation Theory.

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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