Knowing other Minds: A Scorekeeping Model

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The prepositional ‘in’ and possessive pronouns, e.g., ‘my’ and ‘mine,’ in the context of attributions of mental states, such as “in my mind” or “in your mind,” threaten to confuse attempts to account for knowledge of other minds. This paper distinguishes proper from improper uses of such expressions. I will argue that proper use of the prepositional ‘in’ and possessive pronouns in the context of mental state attributions presupposes capacities to properly track and attribute what are really, in a sense to be specified, intersubjectively articulated and inferentially interrelated normative statuses. What we call “mental states” or “minds,” in as far as primarily cognitive states such as beliefs are concerned, are intersubjectively constituted. As opposed to being inner and private, something we must learn to intersubjectively discover, minds and mental states are intersubjectively articulated and we learn to attribute them as inner and private. A scorekeeping-model is used to illustrate how the privacy of mind presupposes intersubjectivity. Using that model, I argue that the traditional problem of knowing other minds can be re-framed as a problem of learning how to pursue intersubjective practices of acknowledging, attributing and undertaking mental states.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Pages (from-to)1279-1308
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Other minds, intersubjectivity, normativity, scorekeeping, me-ness, developmental psychology

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