Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Lewis & Clark College

Theory of Mind (ToM)

Added on by jay odenbaugh.

We have considered several different accounts of how we mind-read. The first view is the intentional stance articulated by Daniel Dennett. We rationalize the behavior of others regardless of whether in fact they have mental states. The second is theory theory articulated by (for example) Alison Gopnik. To mind-read, we use laws concerning inputs, mental states, and outputs to predict and explain other's (and our own) behavior. The third is simulation theory articulated by Robert Gordon and Alvin Goldman. In effect, we make-believe and make-desire the beliefs and desires of others, simulate those "offline" and then compare the outputs to other's behavior. 

A famous professor mind-reading

A famous professor mind-reading

Question: Of these views, which do you find most plausible and why?