Knowing Me, Knowing You: Theory of Mind and the Machinery of Introspection

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Abstract:

Does the ability to know one's own mind depend on the ability to know the minds of others? According to the 'theory theory' of first-person mentalizing, the answer is yes. Recent alternative accounts of this ability, such as the 'monitoring theory', suggest otherwise. Focusing on the issue of introspective access to propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires, intentions, and the like), I argue that a better account of first-person mentalizing can be devised by combining these two theories. After sketching a hybrid account, I show how it can do justice to competing intuitions about the nature of introspective self-awareness. I close by drawing some methodological morals about the study of mentalizing and the role of introspective evidence in cognitive science.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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