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Signature Limits in Mindreading Systems


  • J. Robert Thompson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University
    • Correspondence should be sent to J. Robert Thompson, Department of Philosophy and Religion, P.O. Box J.S., Mississippi State, MS 39762. E-mail:

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Recent evidence that young children seem to both understand false belief in one sense, but not in another, has led to two-systems theorizing about mindreading. By analyzing the most detailed two-systems approach in studying social cognition—the theory of mindreading defended by Ian Apperly and Stephen Butterfill—I argue that that even when dutifully constructed, two-systems approaches in social cognition struggle to adequately define the mindreading systems in terms of signature processing limits, an issue that becomes most apparent when investigating mindreading in infancy. I end the article by developing several challenges that face any two-systems account of mindreading.

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