Classical explanations of social cognition assume that complex social interaction involves social understanding and that social understanding in turn depends on the ability to read others’ minds, i.e. on the ability to attribute mental states, such as beliefs and desires, to others for the purposes of predicting and explaining their behavior. However, recent findings regarding the social cognitive abilities of infants and animals call into question the claim that such explanations provide a complete picture of social cognition.
In this interdisciplinary workshop we want to discuss findings that might speak against a classical understanding of social cognitive capacities and consider alternative attempts at explanation. Our focus lies in particular on minimal mindreading accounts, such as the one recently proposed by Butterfill and Apperly (Apperly & Butterfill 2009; Apperly 2011; Butterfill & Apperly 2013). Questions that arise concern, among other things, the scope of minimal and full-blown mindreading capacities, their interrelation, and the relation of human and non-human social capacities as well as of infant and adult capacities.
Invited speakers include David Buttelmann (Erfurt), Stephen Butterfill (Warwick), Anika Fiebich (Bochum), Agnes Kovacs (Budapest), and Victoria Southgate (London). Each participant will give a talk of about 45 mins followed by one hour of discussion, providing sufficient time for intensive discussion and the development of ideas. A detailed description of the workshop can be found here: http://www.iphi.ovgu.de/home/Workshop.html
Call for Abstracts
We have a few slots available for contributed presentations. Researchers from all disciplines working on some aspect of social cognition closely related to the workshop theme are encouraged to submit an extended abstract of at most 500 words including bibliography for a 45 min talk with subsequent discussion. Please send submissions to email@example.com by September 28. Notifications of acceptance will be made by October 7 on the basis of scientific quality and overall fit to the topic and to the other contributions. We especially encourage PhD students and postdocs to submit proposals.