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MindreadingAn Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds$
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Shaun Nichols and Stephen P. Stich

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0198236107.001.0001

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Reading One's Own Mind

Reading One's Own Mind

(p.150) 4 Reading One's Own Mind

Shaun Nichols

Stephen P. Stich (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The most widely held account of self-awareness is the “theory theory”, according to which self-awareness is a theory-mediated process which depends on the same “theory of mind” that underlies the attribution of mental states to others. The chapter distinguishes several versions of the theory theory of self-awareness and presents an alternative account, according to which self-awareness is subserved by a monitoring mechanism that is independent of the theory of mind. The chapter also describes and disputes the prominent arguments for the theory theory, including a wellknown argument based on parallels between the development of first person and third person mindreading. Finally, it is argued that clinical findings on autism and schizophrenia seem to favor the view that the mechanism for self-awareness is independent of the theory of mind.

Keywords:   appearance/reality distinction, autism, detecting vs. reasoning, development, dissociations, phenomenology, psychopathology, schizophrenia, self-awareness, theory theory, Simon Baron-Cohen, Alison Gopnik, Alvin Goldman

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