I am grateful to Dedre Gentner, Dan Ryder, Thomas Bontly, Austen Clark, Jason Low, and Diana Meyers for helpful comments and conversations about previous versions of this article. I also thank two anonymous referees from Mind & Language.
SYMPOSIUM ON READING IN THE BRAIN BY STANISLAS DEHAENE
A Unified Account of General Learning Mechanisms and Theory-of-Mind Development
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 351–381, June 2014
How to Cite
BACH, T. (2014), A Unified Account of General Learning Mechanisms and Theory-of-Mind Development. Mind & Language, 29: 351–381. doi: 10.1111/mila.12055
- Issue published online: 4 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2014
Modularity theorists have challenged that there are, or could be, general learning mechanisms that explain theory-of-mind development. In response, supporters of the ‘scientific theory-theory’ account of theory-of-mind development have appealed to children's use of auxiliary hypotheses and probabilistic causal modeling. This article argues that these general learning mechanisms are not sufficient to meet the modularist's challenge. The article then explores an alternative domain-general learning mechanism by proposing that children grasp the concept belief through the progressive alignment of relational structure that occurs as a result of structural-comparison. The article also explores the implications of the proposed account for Fodor's puzzle of conceptual learning.