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Mindreading: First Puzzle

There is a puzzle about when humans can first know individuating facts about others' beliefs.
To understand the origins of this knowledge we need to understand the puzzle.
So I'm going to reveal the puzzle to you. But let me start with a bit of background.

a puzzle

Recall the experiment that got us started.
These experimenters added an anticipation prompt and measured to which box subjects looked first \citep{Clements:1994cw}.
(Actually they didn't use this story; theirs was about a mouse called Sam and some cheese, but the differences needn't concern us.)
What got me hooked philosophical psychology, and on philosophical issues in the development of mindreading in particular was a brilliant finding by Wendy Clements who was Josef Perner's phd student.

Clements & Perner 1994 figure 1

These findings were carefully confirmed \citep{Clements:2000nc,Garnham:2001ql,Ruffman:2001ng}.
Around 2000 there were a variety of findings pointing in the direction of a confict between different measures.
These included studies on word learning \citep{Carpenter:2002gc,Happe:2002sr} and false denials \citep{Polak:1999xr}.
But relatively few people were interested until ...
\subsection{Theory of mind cognition is hard}
Conceptually demanding:
\item Acquisition takes several years \citep{Wimmer:1983dz,Wellman:2001lz}
\item Tied to the development of executive function \citep{Perner:1999yr,Sabbagh:2006ke} and language \citep{Astington2005ot}
\item Development facilitated by explicit training \citep{Slaughter:1996fv} and siblings \citep{Clements:2000nc,Hughes:2004zj}
Cognitively demanding:
\item Requires attention and working memory in fully competent adults \citep{Apperly:2008jv,McKinnon:2007rr}
Explain the emergence, in evolution or development, of mindreading.
The challenge is to explain the emergence, in evolution or development, of mindreading.
Initially it looked like this was going to be relatively straightforward and involve just language, social interaction and executive function.
So a Myth of Jones style story seemed viable.
But the findings of competence in infants of around one year of age changes this.
These findings tell us that not all abilities to represent others' mental states can depend on things like language.
And, as I've been stressing, these findings also create a puzzle.
The puzzle is, roughly, how to reconcile infants' competence with three-year-olds' failure.
The puzzle is a little bit like the puzzle we had in the case of knowledge of physical objects.
But it's also different.
In the case of physical objects, the conflict was between measures involving looking and measures involving searching.
In this case it's different, because on the infant side there is not just looking but also acting (e.g. helping) and even communicating.
*todo*: There are at least two possible puzzles you might focus on:
1. How can we avoid the apparent contradiction in the evidence?
2. How can we explain the apparent discrepancy between infants and 3-year-olds' performances?
Minimal theory of mind might resolve puzzle 1 but it won't by itself resolve puzzle 2.
This wasn't clear enough in the lecture (sorry!).

Is core knowledge (modularity) the solution?

Can we solve the puzzle by appeal to core knowledge (or 'modularity')?
The difference in measures is a hopeful sign that we can.
But the fact that representations of others' minds influence 1-year-olds' actions (e.g. in communicating and helping) complicates things because we imagine modules as inferentially isolated from practical reasoning.
Looking at a further puzzle will help us.