How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition (Hardback) book cover

How We Understand Others

Philosophy and Social Cognition

By Shannon Spaulding

Routledge

106 pages

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Hardback: 9781138221581
pub: 2018-05-18
$70.00
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315396064
pub: 2018-05-15
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Description

In our everyday social interactions, we try to make sense of what people are thinking, why they act as they do, and what they are likely to do next. This process is called mindreading. Mindreading, Shannon Spaulding argues in this book, is central to our ability to understand and interact with others. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have converged on the idea that mindreading involves theorizing about and simulating others’ mental states. She argues that this view of mindreading is limiting and outdated. Most contemporary views of mindreading vastly underrepresent the diversity and complexity of mindreading. She articulates a new theory of mindreading that takes into account cutting edge philosophical and empirical research on in-group/out-group dynamics, social biases, and how our goals and the situational context influence how we interpret others’ behavior.

Spaulding's resulting theory of mindreading provides a more accurate, comprehensive, and perhaps pessimistic view of our abilities to understand others, with important epistemological and ethical implications. Deciding who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and competent are epistemically and ethically fraught judgments: her new theory of mindreading sheds light on how these judgments are made and the conditions under which they are unreliable.

This book will be of great interest to students of philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, applied epistemology, cognitive science and moral psychology, as well as those interested in conceptual issues in psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. In Defense of Mindreading

3. Expanding the Scope of Mindreading

4. The Goals of Mindreading

5. Model Theory

6. Epistemic and Ethical Applications

7. Concluding Thoughts

Index

About the Author

Shannon Spaulding is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Focus on Philosophy

Routledge Focus on Philosophy is an exciting and innovative new series, capturing and disseminating some of the best and most exciting new research in philosophy in short book form. Peer reviewed and at a maximum of fifty thousand words shorter than the typical research monograph, Routledge Focus on Philosophy titles are available in both ebook and print on demand format. Tackling big topics in a digestible format the series opens up important philosophical research for a wider audience, and as such is invaluable reading for the scholar, researcher and student seeking to keep their finger on the pulse of the discipline. The series also reflects the growing interdisciplinarity within philosophy and will be of interest to those in related disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General