Rebuilding the Landscape of Psychological Understanding After the Mindreading War

Marco Fenici


‘Mindreading war’ refers here to the intricate net of connected debates both in the philosophy and the cognitive sciences concerning the onset, the development, and the nature of the cognitive mechanisms underlying mindreading – i.e., the alleged ability to attribute mental states to predict and explain others’ behavior. The mindreading war has lasted for almost forty years by now with apparently no winners or losers. This article argues that the present stalemate results from the lack of initial theoretical discussion about foundational issues that led to the conflict. Recovering the dialogue between psychologists and philosophers is necessary if we are to start rebuilding the landscape of psychological understanding once this long war is over.


folk psychology; mindreading; social cognition; theory of mind

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