Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. For the understanding of signs and words plays a role, whether one can connect an object with the word or sign, as well as whether one can replace the sign or word with another sign or word. In order to understand full sentences, the context must be grasped as well. A point of contention is whether knowing the truth conditions gives the sentence its meaning. In other words Whether there is the knowledge about what should be if the sentence were true. If that is correct, there is no need to know whether the sentence is true (cf. M. Dummett, Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992, p. 20). See also substitution, truth conditions, knowledge.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Kim Sterelny on Understanding - Dictionary of Arguments

I 357
Animal/Thinking/Mind/Understanding/Sterelny: do primates understand something of the mind of others? What would such an understanding show? What is the simplest mind capable of doing so? When and why and how became primates "mind readers".
Thesis: I move within the "hypothesis of social intelligence": selection according to social skills.
I 358
Representation/method/mind reading/mind/animal/Sterelny: Actions are best pursued by the representation of the mental states that produce these actions. Imitation, too, is evidence of cognitive refinement, but it does not point to the ability to read the mind.
I 359
Thesis: even relatively simple animals can represent meta. ((s) They represent the representations of others.)
Advantage/Sterelny: to anticipate foreign actions.
I 360
For this, the mind reading animal must know whether a novelty or rearrangement of the preferences or only of the instrumental beliefs causes.
Definiton information gradient/knowledge/Dennett: the information gradient describes groups in which the members have a very different level of knowledge.
Information/mind reading/Animal/Sterelny: there are even less refined methods of using other things than sources of information as imitation:
I 361
"Stimulus increase": stimulus increase means increased attention for the interests of others.
I 361
Selection/Sterelny: if there should have been a selection according to mind reading, then mind readers must behave differently than the behaviour readers, and the adaptive advantages must be found in the mind reader's behavior.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sterelny I
Kim Sterelny
"Primate Worlds", in: The Evolution of Cognition, C. Heyes/L. Huber (Eds.) Cambridge/MA 2000
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

Sterelny II
Kim Sterelny
Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest Cambridge/UK 2007

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