propositional attitudes. A complete account of the role of MNSs in social cognition will of coursealso have to address the problem of ascription, to which I alluded above (2.2) – i.e. mirroring doesnot automatically qualify as understanding that the state one is in refers to or belongs to someone
else. Minimally, an account should pick out functional differences between the roles played bymatching representations in first- versus third-person cases. These functional differences will ofcourse be reflected in differences in the neural activation that occurs in tandem with the activationof the matching representations. I will limit myself to one final point on this issue: with MNSs thatare involved in selecting responses rather than mirroring, the problem of accounting for ascriptiondoes not arise, since these MNSs do not constitute matching representations that would beambiguous with respect to first- versus third-persons. To put it another way, the representations theyproduce do not need to be ascribed at all. 5. ConclusionI have defended the thesis that the discovery of MNSs constitutes empirical support for ST bycorroborating a prediction made by ST. This has involved affirming two claims: (i) that MNSs areinvolved in social cognition and (ii) that they do so in a way that instantiates simulation. Withrespect to (i), I have argued that MNSs are likely to be substantially involved in (perhaps necessaryfor) understanding many intentions and emotions, although they are not likely to be sufficient. As for (ii), I have tried to show that much of the work on MNSs in fact fits best with a slightlydifferent simulationist framework, which is broader and therefore weaker than ST. This is the senseof simulation employed in “simulationist” theories of concepts, such as that espoused by Barsalou(1999, 2005). According to such theories, conceptual thought in general has a simulationistcomponent, but the term simulation here refers not to simulations of a target’s experience, nor evenspecifically to one’s own experience in a similar counterfactual situation, but to simulations of one’sone past experiences in general - activating sensory, motor, proprioceptive, affective, andintrospective representations that match representations one would have when perceiving, carryingout actions, experiencing emotions, etc. My suggestion is the following: instances of mirroring thatinstantiate simulation in the sense of ST are a special case of a broader class of phenomena thatinstantiate simulation in the sense of Barsalou. Although this requires simulation theorists to modifytheir understanding of simulation to make it line up with the empirical work, it also allows them toembed ST into a broader framework, thereby increasing theoretical scope and making available abroader base of empirical data.
ReferencesAdolphs, Ralph. 2003. “Cognitive neuroscience of human social behaviour.” National Review ofNeuroscience4(3):165-78.
As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.
Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern
I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.
University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern
The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.
Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern
Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
Ask Expert Tutors
You can ask
You can ask
You can ask
(will expire )