Interpreting Minds
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Interpreting Minds

By Radu J. Bogdan

A Bradford Book

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Summary

Unlike most current researchers in philosophy and psychology, who view interpretation as a way to understand the minds and behavior of others, Radu J. Bogdan sets out to establish a new evolutionary and practical view of interpretation. According to Bogdan, the ability to interpret others' mental states has evolved under communal, political, and epistemic pressures to enable us to cope with the impact of other organisms on our own goals in the competition to survive. Interpretation evolved among primates by natural and then cultural selection. As an adaptation, it is a competence in the form of a battery of practical skills that serve the interpreter's interests in social interactions. Evolutionary theory does not just deepen our understanding of interpretation; without it, we cannot understand what interpretation is and how it does its job. Interpreting Minds raises many thought-provoking issues for philosophers of mind and culture; evolutionary, developmental, and social psychologists; ethologists; cognitive and cultural anthropologists; evolutionary biologists; and others interested in cognitive development.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262024198 318 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Paperback

$7.75 S ISBN: 9780262524179 318 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Reviews

  • A distinctive analysis of the most fundamental questions about how we interpret the actions of others…Bogdan's analysis should provoke thoughtful consideration and discussion across philosophy, cognitive science, and ethology, in which the nature of mind-reading is treated with a much-needed new depth and breadth.

    Andrew Whiten

    Nature

  • A profoundly original and controversial piece of work in cognitive science—a title not to be missed by the numerous interdisciplinary students of this mental capacity of such uncertain name.

    Juan-Carlos Gómez

    Trends in Cognitive Sciences

  • A provocative contribution... an important new practical perspective to interpretation.

    Colin G. Beer

    Contemporary Psychology