Words about Young Minds: The Concepts of Theory, Representation, and Belief in Philosophy and Developmental Psychology
Eric Schwitzgebel

Dissertation, Department of Philosophy, U.C. Berkeley, 1997

Committee: Elisabeth Lloyd, John Searle, and Alison Gopnik

Dissertation Contents

Chapter One: Introduction to the Dissertation: Philosophy, Developmental Psychology, and Intuition 1

Outline of the Dissertation 5
The Role of Analysis and Intuition in This Dissertation 9

Chapter Two: A Defense of the View that Infants and Animals Have Beliefs 17

1. Faults in Davidson’s First Argument Against Belief Without Language 22
2. Faults in Davidson’s Second Argument Against BeliefWithout Language 36
3. The Word ‘Belief’ 69

Chapter Three: An Account of Theories Such That Children Might Have Them 97

1. The Axiomatic and Semantic Views of Theory 100
2. Developmental Accounts of Theories 113
3. An Account of Theories 121
    The Account 122
    The Centrality of Explanation 127
    Explanation-Seeking Curiosity 129
    A Revision of (3.) 135
4. Cognitive Development and Theories 138
    Some Views of Theories in Development 138
    A New Domain of Evidence for the Theory Theory 146
5. Conclusion 151

Chapter Four: Representation and Desire: Case Study in How a Philosophical Error Can Have Consequences for Empirical Research 155

1. Desire in Indicative and Contentive Accounts of Representation 157
2. An Example from Philosophy 163
3. The Error in Theory of Mind 172
4. Representational Art as a Test of a Hypothesis About the Child’s Understanding of Mind 187
5. Conclusion 199

Chapter Five: Toward a Developmental Account of Belief 200

1. Aims of the Account 203
2. All-or-Nothing Belief and the Simple Question 209
    The Simple Question 209
    The All-or-Nothing View of Belief 213
3. The Container Metaphor 222
4. Conclusion 232

Chapter Six: A Phenomenal, Dispositional Account of Belief 233

1. The Account 235
    Ceteris Paribus Clauses and Excusing Conditions 242
    The Importance of Phenomenology for a Dispositional Account 250
    A Thought on Ryle 253
2. Mixed Sets of Dispositions 255
    Two Examples 255
    Normativity and Patterns of Deviation 259
    Deviation and Developmental Psychology 261
    A Short List of Patterns of Deviation 265
3. A Concern about Phenomenal Dispositionalism About Belief 269
    Externalism and Phenomenal Dispositionalism 269
    Functionalism and Phenomenal Dispositionalism 273
4. Beliefs, Causation, and Explanation 277
5. Conclusion 288

Chapter Seven: Applications of the Account 292

1. Two Philosophical Puzzles 293
    Kripke’s Puzzle About Belief 293
    Self-Deception 299
    The Puzzles Resolved 303
2. What’s in a Look? 307
    The Child’s Understanding of Object Permanence 307
    Implicit Understanding of False Belief? 316
3. Conclusion 322

Chapter Eight: Conclusion 327

Works Cited 333

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