Empathy is many things to many people. Depending on who you ask, it is feeling what another person feels, feeling bad for another person’s suffering, understanding what another person feels, imagining yourself in another person’s situation and figuring out what you wou...

In a recent review of my book "How We Understand Others," Evan Westra challenges the pessimistic assessment of our mindreading abilities. In fact, he perceptively points out, it is very difficult to measure mindreading accuracy with our current experimental paradigms....

May 25, 2018

In our everyday social interactions, we try to make sense of what people are thinking, why they act as they do, and what they are likely to do next. This process is called mindreading. Mindreading, Shannon Spaulding argues in this book, is central to our ability to und...

Implicit Bias and Philosophy: Metaphysics and Epistemology is a broad, impressive, and interesting collection of essays on the nature of implicit bias. It presents various views on the kind of cognitive states that underlie implicit bias; how to interpret the results o...

Traditional theories of mindreading tend to focus exclusively on attributing beliefs and desires to other agents. The literature emphasizes belief attribution in particular, with numerous debates over when children develop the concept of belief, how neurotypical adult...

How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philosophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sort...

Disagreeing with others about how to interpret a social interaction is a common occurrence. We often find ourselves offering divergent interpretations of others’ motives, intentions, beliefs, and emotions. Remarkably, philosophical accounts of how we understand others...

Individualistic accounts of social cognition primarily focus on individual subjects’ mental representations in thinking about and interacting with other people. These accounts implicitly sterilize the environments in which we think and act with other people. They presu...

Successful athletic performance requires precision in many respects. A batter stands behind home plate awaiting the arrival of a ball that is less than three inches in diameter and moving close to 100 mph. His goal is to hit it with a ba­­t that is also less than three...

Most people think of themselves as pretty good at understanding others' beliefs, desires, emotions, and intentions. Accurate mindreading is an impressive cognitive feat, and for this reason the philosophical literature on mindreading has focused exclusively on explaini...

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October 16, 2019