(2017) Synthese 194 (3).

Mindreading in adults

evaluating two-systems views

Peter Carruthers

pp. 673-688

A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently needs to function together with domain-specific executive procedures (such as visually rotating an image to figure out what someone else can see) as well as domain-general resources (including both long-term and working memory). This view, too, can be described as a two-systems account. But in this case one of the systems encompasses the other, and the conceptual resources available to each are the same.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-015-0792-3

Full citation:

Carruthers, P. (2017). Mindreading in adults: evaluating two-systems views. Synthese 194 (3), pp. 673-688.

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