How can we explain the emergence, in evolution or development, of mindreading? Some conjecture that its emergence involves joint action (Knoblich & Sebanz, 2006; Moll & Tomasello, 2007). Reflection on objections to this conjecture reveals mistakes in leading philosophical accounts of both mindreading and joint action. These lectures aim to identify the mistakes and provide fixes. The fixes involve two steps: the construction of a minimal theory of mind; and an account of the distinct roles for shared intention and social motor representation in explaining what joint action is.
Time and place
Room H4.01 (Humanities), 4-5.30pm on Tuesdays in Weeks 1-5 of Summer Term 2011-2.
Schedule, handouts and slides
- Lecture 1: Joint Action and Mindreading: Some Problems [slides] [handout]
- Lecture 2: Minimal Theory of Mind [slides] [handout]
- Lecture 2.5: What Are Modules and What Is Their Role in Development? [slides] [handout]
- Lecture 3: Which Joint Actions Ground Social Cognition? [slides] [handout]
- Lecture 4: Intention and Motor Representation in Joint Action [slides] [handout]
- Lecture 5: Interacting Mindreaders (Thursday 31 May, 10am room S2.84) [slides] [handout]
The lectures draw on several papers, some co-authored. Not all are published. None of the lectures will assume you have read any of these papers. The links only work if you're signed in (sorry).
- 'How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind' (2013), Stephen Butterfill & Ian Apperly, Mind and Language vol. 28
- 'What Is Joint Action? A Modestly Deflationary Approach'
- 'Interacting Mindreaders' (forthcoming), Philosophical Studies
- 'Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action' (forthcoming), Stephen Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
- 'Joint Action and Development' (2012), Philosophical Quarterly 62(246) pp. 23-47 [doi 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2011.00005.x]
- 'A minimal architecture for joint action' (2011), Cordula Vesper, Stephen Butterfill, Guenther Knoblich & Natalie Sebanz, Neural Networks 23(8-9), pp. 998-1003
- 'Psychological Research on Joint Action' (2011), Guenther Knoblich, Stephen Butterfill & Natalie Sebanz, in B. Ross (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. 51): Academic Press, pp. 59-101
- 'Do humans have two systems to track beliefs and belief-like states?' (2009), Ian Apperly & Stephen Butterfill, Psychological Review 116(4):953-970 [doi: 10.1037/a0016923]
- 'What are modules and what is their role in development?' (2007), Mind and Language 22(4), pp. 450–473
There is no required reading for these lectures.
Some requested readings to do before the lectures. Here are some suggestions. The links only work if you're signed in (sorry).
Lecture 2: Minimal Theory of Mind
- 'How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind', Stephen Butterfill & Ian Apperly
- Robert Matthews, 'The Measure of Mind' (1994), Mind 103(410), pp. 131-146 [He also wrote a book with the same title]
- Renee Baillargeon et al, 'False-belief understanding in infants' (2010), Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14(3), pp. 110-8
Key papers for each lecture are included in the handouts. Most are easily available online but please email me if you have difficulty accessing any papers.