Is Mind-Reading a Unimodal Capacity? A Critical Review on the Discussion and Empirical Support of Theory-Theory (Tt) and Simulation Theory (St)

Una Revisión Crítica sobre la Discusión y Soporte Empírico de la Teoría-Teoría (Tt) y la Teoría de la Simulación (Ts)


  • Anyerson Stiths Gómez Tabares Universidad de Antioquia



theory of mind, multimodal, false belief, mirror neurons, mental states


There are two main approaches competing to explain the attribution of psychological states to other subjects: theory-theory (TT) and the simulation theory (ST). Despite their differences, both approaches propose a unimodal cognitive process to explain mind-reading, either a theoretical or a simulation capacity. This paper outlines the implications of these approaches for philosophical and empirical research, and defends the idea that mind reading is not a unimodal capacity. There are inconsistencies with TT and TS when they try to account for the empirical evidence in psychology and cognitive neuroscience; these suggest that the attribution of mental states is not the result of a single cognitive process. The paper concludes that there are different cognitive processes, with distinctions of level and functional complexity responsible for the recognition and attribution of psychological states to others. This calls for a hybrid, integrative and pluralistic approach to mind-reading.


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