Systems for Theory-Of-Mind : Taking the Second-Person Perspective

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Apperly's and Butterfill's (2009) theory about belief reasoning is taken as a starting-point for a discussion of how we make sense of other people's actions in real time. More specifically, the focus lies on how we can understand others' actions in terms of their epistemic states on an implicit level of processing. First, the relevant parts of Apperly's and Butterfill's theory are summarized. Then, their account of implicit theory of mind in terms of registration ascription and perceptual encountering is discussed and rejected. While accepting Apperly's and Butterfill's general epistemic account of belief reasoning, the author suggests that implicit theory of mind involves visuomotor, second-person pragmatic representations. Moreover, this presentation emphasizes the central place of interaction, claiming that perceptual intentions-to-interact are fundamental to social understanding. Via the mechanism of social attention, social intentions automatically prompt agents to share and exchange sensorimotor, pragmatic information.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
  • Philosophy


  • pragmatic representation, social intention, social attention, implicit theory of mind, registration ascription, embodiment, social understanding, belief reasoning
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Event20th Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology - London
Duration: 2012 Aug 282012 Aug 31


Conference20th Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology

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