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Mirroring, Simulating and Mindreading

Authors

  • ALVIN I. GOLDMAN

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science
      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      Department of Philosophy, 26 Nichol Avenue, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2882 USA.
      Email: goldman@philosophy.rutgers.edu
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  • Thanks to Pierre Jacob and Frédérique de Vignemont for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

Department of Philosophy, 26 Nichol Avenue, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2882 USA.
Email: goldman@philosophy.rutgers.edu

Abstract

Abstract:  Pierre Jacob (2008) raises several problems for the alleged link between mirroring and mindreading. This response argues that the best mirroring-mindreading thesis would claim that mirror processes cause, rather than constitute, selected acts of mindreading. Second, the best current evidence for mirror-based mindreading is not found in the motoric domain but in the domains of emotion and sensation, where the evidence (ignored by Jacob) is substantial. Finally, simulation theory should distinguish low-level simulation (mirroring) and high-level simulation (involving pretense or imagination). Jacob implies that bi-level simulationism creates an unbridgeable ‘gap’ in intention reading, but this is not a compelling challenge.

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