With apologies for the delay, I’m glad to begin our next Mind & Language symposium, on Stephen Butterfill and Ian Apperly’s article “How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind”, with commentaries by Hannes Rakoczy (Göttingen), Shannon Spaulding (Oklahoma State), and Tad Zawidzki (George Washington University).
Steve and Ian’s article, which is freely available here thanks to the kind cooperation of Wiley-Blackwell, explores what it would take for a being with minimal cognitive and conceptual resources to track others’ perceptual states, knowledge, and beliefs, but without representing propositional attitudes as such. Together with the commentaries, their article develops this “minimal theory of mind” in dialogue with a large body of findings from developmental, cognitive, and experimental psychology, including data on the mindreading capacities of human infants and non-human animals.
Below you will find a short précis of the target article, followed by links to the paper and commentaries, and then a set of replies. Comments on this post will remain open for at least two weeks. Many thanks to all those who participate!
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Précis: Stephen Butterfill and Ian Apperly, “Introduction for Discussion of Minimal Theory of Mind”
- Hannes Rakoczy, “Asymmetries in the evidence for asymmetries in the signature limits of minimal and full‐blown theory of mind?”
- Shannon Spaulding, “Commentary on ‘How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind'”
- Tadeusz Zawidzki, “Commentary on Butterfill and Apperly’s ‘How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind'”
Target Article: Butterfill and Apperly, “How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind” (Mind & Language 28 (5), 606-637)
Replies: Butterfill and Apperly, “Replies to Three Commentaries on Minimal Theory of Mind”