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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 16375
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   How Might Simulation-Based Accounts of Mindreading Explain Pragmatic Interpretation?
  Author(s):  A. Yousefi Heris
  Status:   To Appear
  Journal: Phenomenology and Mind
  Supported by:  IPM
  Abstract:
This paper examines the role of simulational mindreading in pragmatic interpretation (conceived of in a Gricean manner). There are two parts to this paper. In part one, I argue that mirroring, in the form of direct or indirect simulation, underdetermines pragmatic interpretation. Nevertheless, in order to deliver a unique interpretation, mirroring may contribute either by reducing the number of salient interpretations or being accompanied by theoretical considerations. This results in a hybrid view in which theory and simulation cooperate. The second part of the paper examines the imaginative or perspective-taking sense of simulation. Drawing on evidence from several clinical populations, I will show that subjects with difficulty in pragmatic interpretation often show little or no difficulty in perspective taking, and subjects with difficulty in perspective-taking do not always show difficulty in pragmatic interpretation. This, I conclude, suggests that simulation in the sense of perspective-taking is not necessary or plays no significant role in pragmatic interpretation.

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