Human Development, 42 (1999), 283-296.
Major cognitive developments are unlikely to happen instantaneously. Consequently, children must frequently pass through periods of being "in between" genuine understanding and failure to understand. The current literatures on false belief understanding and object permanence largely fail to recognize the importance of such in-between states of understanding. Recent philosophical accounts of belief also fail to make sufficient room for such in-between states. An approach based on Ryle's (1949) account of belief is recommended and is compared with some other approaches, including the competence/performance approach and contextualist approaches.
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