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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Mindreading accounts of social cognition have been increasingly challenged over the past couple of decades. Proponents of 4E cognition have argued that social cognition is not (primarily) about reading another agent’s mental states in order to predict or explain his or her behavior. A large part of their criticism has focused on the empirical findings on false-belief understanding, questioning both the philosophical interpretation of these findings and the experimental designs that give rise to them. In this chapter I will (1) discuss the empirical findings on false-belief understanding in light of the criticism leveled by proponents of 4E cognition, and (2) propose an alternative interpretation of these findings, one that is inspired by the predictive processing paradigm, and investigate to what extent this interpretation is compatible with the main insights of 4E cognition.

Keywords: false-belief understanding, social cognition, 4E cognition, predictive processing, mindreading, developmental paradox

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