How we know our own minds: the relationship between mindreading and metacognition

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Philosophy
Topics: 
Self and Mental State Attribution
Keywords: 
autism, confabulation, conscious thought, introspection, metacognition, mindreading, schizophrenia, self-interpretation, self-monitoring, self-knowledge
Deposited by: 
Dr Peter Carruthers
Date of Issue: 
2009
Authors: 
Peter Carruthers
Volume: 
32
Abstract: 
A number of accounts of the relationship between third-person mindreading and first-person metacognition are compared and evaluated. While three of these accounts endorse the existence of introspection for propositional attitudes, the fourth (defended here) claims that our knowledge of our own attitudes results from turning our mindreading capacities upon ourselves. The different types of theory are developed and evaluated, and multiple lines of evidence are reviewed, including evolutionary and comparative data, evidence of confabulation when self-attributing attitudes, phenomenological evidence of “unsymbolized thinking”, data from schizophrenia, and data from autism.
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