SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Understanding Others: Why We Can Learn From Invisible Friends
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

In my talk I'd like to discuss alternative models to Theory of Mind (ToM) as the basis for understanding oneself and others. The more traditional theory-theory (TT), for example, states that we know what others think or feel on the basis of inferences. Simulation theory (ST), on the other hand, states that we do not understand other minds on the basis of inferences or folk psychology; rather we mentally project ourselves into the shoes of others and simulate their reasoning and descision-making (Goldman 2006).
In recent years Gallagher and Hutto (2008) have argued for a joint account which combines Interaction Theory (IT) and Narrative Practice Hypothesis (NPH). According to their view, our understanding of others is ordinarily not based on mentalistic inference or simulation, rather we understand others in a narrative way and in environmental contexts. The question I will address is which role narrative competency actually plays by looking at some pretend play scenarios. When children engage in pretend play they are creating a situation where there is more going on that what is literally happening, for example, they invent invisible friends. My aim is to discuss to which extent these kind of pretend play scenarios can be viewed as support for Gallagher and Hutto.

Gallagher, S. and Hutto, D. (2008). "Understanding others through primary interaction and narrative practice" In: J. Zlatev, T. P. Racine, C. Sinha & E. Itkonen (Eds.) The shared mind: Perspectives on intersubjectivity (pp. 17-38). Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins.
Goldman, A. (2006): Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading New York: Oxford University Press.

Chair: Giulia Lorenzi
Time: 10:40-11:10, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003
Remark: CHANGE. The talk is cancelled!

Jessica Struchhold 
(Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany)

Jessica Struchhold is a master's student at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany. She finished her B.A. in 2016 with a major in Philosophy and a minor in German Literature. Her thesis was about Jerry Fodor's Language of Thought Hypothesis.

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