How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition

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 understand and interact with others. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have converged on the idea that mindreading involves theorizing about and simulating others’ mental states. She argues that this view of mindreading is limiting and outdated. Most contemporary views of mindreading vastly underrepresent the diversity and complexity of mindreading. She articulates a new theory of mindreading that takes into account cutting ed

Review of "Implicit Bias and Philosophy" Michael Brownstein and Jennifer Saul (eds.) Oxfor

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 of methodological tools that purport to measure implicit bias; the relation to stereotypes, stereotype threat, and epistemic injustice; and application to philosophical skepticism, underrepresentation of women in science, and gendered stereotypes about philosophy. In this review, I shall not offer complete summaries of each chapter. I refer readers interested in that kind of information to the editors’ introductory chapter. Inst

Mindreading Beyond Belief: A More Comprehensive Conception of How We Understand Others

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 humans attribute beliefs to others, whether non-human animals have the concept of belief, etc. I describe a growing school of thought that the heavy focus on belief leaves traditional theories of mindreading unable to account for the complexity, diversity, and messiness of ordinary social interactions. I present a few broader, more comprehensive conceptions of mindreading that take into account how stereotypes, character trait

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Department of Philosophy

Oklahoma State University

© 2015 by Shannon Spaulding

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