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Mapping Others: Representation and Mindreading

18 July 2014


Thinking about the representational qualities of maps and models allows one to offer a new perspective on the nature of mindreading. The recent critiques of our dominant paradigms for mindreading, theory theory and simulation theory by enactivists such as Daniel Hutto reveal a flaw in the standard options for thinking about how we think about others. Views that rely on theorizing or simulation to account for the way in which we understand others often appear to over-intellectualize social interaction. In contrast, enactivists champion embodied, non-representational forms of engagement with others. I claim that one can improve on the representational views of social cognition by moving away from talk of the mental manipulation of propositions in favor of the construction of maps and models of others. Furthermore, I claim that the current state of social neurobiology lends itself towards such a view.


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