Knowing and Understanding Other Minds

ISBN : 9780198794400

Anita Avramides; Matthew Parrott
256 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2019
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We all take it for granted that we are typically in a position to know about the thoughts and feelings of other people.
But we might naturally wonder how we acquire this kind of knowledge. Knowing Other Minds brings together ten original chapters, written by internationally renowned researchers, on questions that arise from our everyday social interaction with others. Can we have direct perceptual knowledge of another person's thoughts? How do we acquire general conceptions of mental states? What lessons can be drawn from experimental work in developmental psychology? Are there fundamental differences between the ways in which we acquire knowledge of our own minds and the ways in which we acquire knowledge of someone else's mind? What sort of cognitive processing underlies our everyday social understanding? How should we best think of the relationship between our complex social life and moral value? The chapters in this volume convey a variety of different perspectives and make a number of novel contributions to the existing literature on these questions, thereby opening up new avenues of inquiry. Furthermore, they illustrate how questions in philosophy and questions from empirical cognitive science overlap and mutually inform one another.


1 Matthew Parrott: Enquiries Concerning the Minds of Others
2 Paul Snowdon: The Problem of Other Minds, Some Preliminaries
3 Asa Wikforss: Knowledge, Belief, and The Asymmetry Thesis
4 Shaun Gallagher and Anika Fiebich: Being Pluralist About Understanding Others: Contexts and Communicative Practices
5 Pierre Jacob: Challenging the Two-Systems Model of Mindreading
6 Anita Avramides: Perception, Reliability, and Other Minds
7 Soren Overgaard: Embodiment and Social Perception
8 Anil Gomes: Perception, Evidence, and Our Expressive Knowledge of Others Minds
9 Will E. S. McNeill: Expressions, Looks, and Others Minds
10 Jane Heal: Other Minds, Facts, and Values

About the author: 

Anita Avramides received a BA in Philosophy from Oberlin College, an MPhil in Philosophy from University College London, and a DPhil from The Queen's College, Oxford and Somerville College, Oxford. She is Southover Manor Trust Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy at St Hilda's College and Reader in Philosophy of Mind at the University of Oxford. Since 2014, she has been Chair of the Philosophy Faculty Panel and Vice Chair of the Philosophy Faculty.
Matthew Parrott is currently a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Previously, he was a Lecturer in Philosophy at King's College London and held an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on questions in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and philosophy of psychiatry but extends to issues in epistemology and philosophy of science.

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