Mirror, Mirror in the Brain, What's the Monkey Stand to Gain?
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 372–391, June 2010
How to Cite
Allen, C. (2010), Mirror, Mirror in the Brain, What's the Monkey Stand to Gain?. Noûs, 44: 372–391. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00744.x
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2010
Primatologists generally agree that monkeys lack higher-order intentional capacities related to theory of mind. Yet the discovery of the so-called “mirror neurons” in monkeys suggests to many neuroscientists that they have the rudiments of intentional understanding. Given a standard philosophical view about intentional understanding, which requires higher-order intentionality, a paradox arises. Different ways of resolving the paradox are assessed, using evidence from neural, cognitive, and behavioral studies of humans and monkeys. A decisive resolution to the paradox requires substantial additional empirical work and perhaps a rejection of the standard philosophical view.