Josef Perner

Josef Perner is Professor of Psychology at the University of Salzburg.

  • Understanding the Representational Mind

    Understanding the Representational Mind

    Josef Perner

    A model of writing in cognitive development, Understanding the Representational Mind synthesizes the burgeoning literature on the child's theory of mind to provide an integrated account of children's understanding of representational and mental processes, which is crucial in their acquisition of our commonsense psychology.

    Perrier describes experimental work on children's acquisition of a theory of mind and representation, offers a theoretical account of this acquisition, and gives examples of how the increased sophistication in children's theory of mind improves their understanding of social interaction and how, in the case of autistic children, an impairment results in social ineptitude. He analyzes the concepts of representation and metarepresentation as they appear in current discussion in the philosophy of cognitive science and explains how the unfolding of mental representation enables infants to comprehend change over time, engage in pretence, and use representational systems like pictures and language. Perrier goes on to show that around age four children become able to understand the representational nature of pictures and language and to distinguish appearance from reality.

    Introducing basic distinctions in philosophy of mind for characterizing the mental, Perrier discusses differences in how commonsense and cognitive psychology view the mind. Tracing the onset of a commonsense psychology in the social and emotional awareness of early infancy, he reveals how the child begins to take a cognitive, representational view of the mind with repercussions for children's episodic memory, self control, and their ability to engage in deception. Perrier concludes by describing the observed developmental changes as a case of theory change And contrasts his thesis with competing proposals.

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00

Contributor

  • Causing Human Actions

    Causing Human Actions

    New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action

    Jesús H. Aguilar and Andrei A. Buckareff

    Leading figures working in the philosophy of action debate foundational issues relating to the causal theory of action.

    The causal theory of action (CTA) is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency—the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources while others focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action-oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues.

    Contributors Fred Adams, Jesús H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout

    • Hardcover $75.00 £62.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00