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The Innate MindStructure and Contents$
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Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179675.001.0001

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Reasoning about Intentionality in Preverbal Infants *

Reasoning about Intentionality in Preverbal Infants *

(p.254) 15 Reasoning about Intentionality in Preverbal Infants*
The Innate Mind

Susan C. Johnson

Oxford University Press

Researchers disagree over whether preverbal infants have any true understanding of other minds. There seem to be at least two sources of hesitation among researchers. Some doubt that infants have any concepts as sophisticated as that implied by the term ‘intentionality’. Other researchers simply doubt that infants understand anything in a conceptual way. This chapter provides arguments in favour of infants' abilities in both respects. It describes data from one study in which the method itself was designed to assess conceptual representations abstracted away from perception-action systems.

Keywords:   infants, cues, perception-action systems, other minds

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