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Externalism in the philosophy of mind has been invoked by some philosophers to argue that content-bearing mental states can’t serve as the explananda in genuinely causal explanations of behaviour. In this paper, I demonstrate that such arguments presuppose that psychological explanations are theory-based and that, if this theoretical conception of psychological explanation is replaced by the simulation model, we remove the source of the apparent tension between externalism and caus-ality and are in a position to understand how appeal to content-bearing mental states may be causally explanatory.