Advertisement

Describing Mental States: From Brain Science to a Science of Mind Reading

  • Shoji NagatakiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Interdisciplinary Evolution Research book series (IDER, volume 1)

Abstract

The rise of cognitive science is, without doubt, promoting research on the mind since the middle of the twentieth century. In particular, by the advancement of observation instruments that makes an elaborate scan of brain states possible, it contributes to explicate how the mind works. There remains, however, the difficult problem of specifying correspondence between the physical and mental states. What matters most in this context is that we seem to have only precarious ways to know the latter. Recently, some researchers have been trying to revive the apparently long-discarded method of introspection. In the present chapter, we discuss the difficulties of this method and suggest instead an alternative way, known as mind reading which has been acquired in the process of human evolution, to describe others’ mental states. We consider what descriptions it can give of others’ mental states, to what extent its reliability can be endorsed experimentally, and discuss its viability in the science of mind.

Keywords

Mental states Bodily behavior Quasi-third-person perspective Folk psychology 

References

  1. Bernstein RJ (2010) Charles S. Peirce’s critique of cartesianism. In: The pragmatic turn. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Carruthers P, Smith PK (eds) (1996) Theories of theories of mind. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Davidson D (2001) Subjective, intersubjective, objective. Clarendon Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dennett DC (1987) The intentional stance. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Depraz N, Francisco JV, Vermersch P (2000) The gesture of awareness: an account of its structural dynamics. In: Velmans M (ed) Investigating phenomenal consciousness. John Benjamins Publishing Company, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  6. Emery NJ (2000) The eyes have it: the neuroethology, function and evolution of social gaze. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 24:581–604. doi: 10.1016/S0149-7634(00)00025-7 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Frith C (2002) How can we share experiences? Trends Cogn Sci 6(9):374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gallagher S, Sørensen JB (2006) Experimenting with phenomenology. Conscious Cogn 15:119–134. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2005.03.002 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gallagher S, Zahavi D (2008) The phenomenological mind: an introduction to philosophy of mind and cognitive science, 2nd edn. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Giorgi A (1970) Psychology as a human science. Harper & Row Publishers Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Gordon RM (1986) Folk psychology as simulation. Mind Lang 1(2):158–171. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1986.tb00324.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hebb DO (1980) Essay on mind. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  13. Hurlburt RT, Heavey CL (2001) Telling what we know: describing inner experience. Trends Cogn Sci 5(9):400–403. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01724-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jack SI, Roepstorff A (2002) The ‘measurement problem’ for experience: damaging flaw or intriguing puzzle? Trends Cogn Sci 6(9):372–374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jackson F (1982) Epiphenomenal qualia. Phil Quart 32:127–136. doi: 10.2307/2960077 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lutz A, Thompson E (2003) Neurophenomenology: integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness. J Conscious Stud 10(9–10):31–52Google Scholar
  17. Merleau-Ponty M (1962) Phenomenology of perception (trans: Smith C). Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Merleau-Ponty M (1964a) The child’s relation with others. In: Edie JM (ed) The primacy of perception: and other essays on phenomenological psychology, the philosophy of art, history and politics (trans: Cobb W). North Western University Press, EvanstonGoogle Scholar
  19. Merleau-Ponty M (1964b) Signs (trans: McCleary RC). Northwestern University Press, EvanstonGoogle Scholar
  20. Merleau-Ponty M (2002) The structure of behavior (trans: Fisher AL). Duquesne University Press, PittsburghGoogle Scholar
  21. Peirce CS (1992) The essential Peirce: selected philosophical writings, vol. l: 1867–1893. In: Houser N, Kloesel C (ed). Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  22. Titchener EB (1896) An outline of psychology. The Macmillan Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Tomasello M (2008) Origins of human communication. The MIT Press, Cambridge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Watson JB (1913) Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Psychol Rev 20(2):158–177. doi: 10.1037/h0074428 Google Scholar
  25. Wundt W (1912) Elemente der Völkerpsychologie. Alfred Kroner Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Liberal StudiesChukyo UniversityNagoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations