Perceiving mental states: Co-presence and constitution

Laura Danón, Daniel Kalpokas


Recently, several philosophers have called attention to the idea that there are occasions on which we can perceive (at least some) mental states of others. In this paper we consider two recent proposals in this direction: the co-presence thesis (Smith, 2010) and the hybrid model (Krueger and Overgaard, 2012). We will examine the aforementioned alternatives and present some objections to both of them. Then, we will propose a way of integrating both accounts which allows us to avoid such objections. Broadly stated, our idea is that by perceiving other people’s behaviors we also perceive their mental states because behaviors co-present some features of the latter, and that this perception of others’ minds is direct and immediate because behavior is a constitutive part of the mental states in question.

Keywords: mindreading, hybrid model, direct perception of other minds, co-presence thesis.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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