Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Slater I 149
Theory of Mind/ToM/Dennett: How does one demonstrate that an individual has the capacity to conceive mental states? As Dennett (1978)(1) pointed out, it is not enough to demonstrate that an individual can predict the actions of another individual, for in many cases, actions can be predicted by simply observing the actual state of the world. Imagine for instance that John knows that there is chocolate in a drawer and observes Mary searching for food. John might expect Mary to look for the chocolate in the drawer, not because he is attributing to Mary specific beliefs, but merely because this is where the chocolate really is. The only robust test then, would be one where the individual is asked to predict the behavior of another individual based on a belief which differs from the actual state of the world, i.e., a false belief.
>False-Belief Task/Psychological Theories, >Autism/Baron-Cohen.


1. Dennett, D. (1978). Beliefs about beliefs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1, 568-570.


Coralie Chevallier, “Theory of Mind and Autism. Beyond Baron-Cohen et al’s. Sally-Anne Study”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Dennett I
D. Dennett
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, New York 1995
German Edition:
Darwins gefährliches Erbe Hamburg 1997

Dennett II
D. Dennett
Kinds of Minds, New York 1996
German Edition:
Spielarten des Geistes Gütersloh 1999

Dennett III
Daniel Dennett
"COG: Steps towards consciousness in robots"
In
Bewusstein, Thomas Metzinger, Paderborn/München/Wien/Zürich 1996

Dennett IV
Daniel Dennett
"Animal Consciousness. What Matters and Why?", in: D. C. Dennett, Brainchildren. Essays on Designing Minds, Cambridge/MA 1998, pp. 337-350
In
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-04-08
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