Knowledge and Ability in 'Theory of Mind': One-eyed Overview of a Debate
Leslie (Alan M.) & German (Tim P.)
Source: Davies & Stone - Mental Simulation - Evaluations and Applications, Chapter 7
Paper - Abstract

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Editors’ Abstract1

  1. Alan Leslie has been one of the few contributors to the debate to discuss explicitly the nature and development of the information processing mechanisms that underpin folk-psychological practice. In his paper with Tim German, 'Knowledge and Ability in "Theory of Mind": One-eyed Overview of a Debate' (chapter 7), and in "Fodor (Jerry) - A Theory of the Child's Theory of Mind" (chapter 6), we find articulations of the theory theory in full accord with the dominant paradigm in cognitive science that we mentioned above in section 1.12.
  2. Both Fodor, and Leslie and German, deploy the competence / performance distinction in their accounts. They argue that children's folk-psychological competence is a matter of their being innately endowed with folk-psychological knowledge. This knowledge only becomes available for use gradually, as other information processing mechanisms come on line. Thus, they argue that the correct inference to draw from the younger children's failure in the false belief task is that the child has a performance limitation rather than a competence deficit.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Stone (Tony) & Davies (Martin) - Mental Simulation: Introduction".

Footnote 2: Of the introduction, "Stone (Tony) & Davies (Martin) - Mental Simulation: Introduction".


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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