Skip to main content

Theories of Mind and ‘The Commonsense View’

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


It is widely believed that people are sometimes directly aware of their own psychological states and consequently better placed than others to know what the contents of those states are. This (‘commonsense’) view has been challenged by Alison Gopnik. She claims that experimental evidence from the behaviour of 3– and 4–year–old children both supports the theory theory and shows that the belief in direct and privileged knowledge of one’s own intentional states is an illusion. I argue (1) that the experimental evidence is not inconsistent with the commonsense view and that Gopnik’s central thesis assumes a particularly crude perceptual account of self–knowledge to which that view is not committed, and (2) that the commonsense view is neutral as between the theory theory and other theories of mind.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Publication date: November 1, 2002

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more