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A Defence of Simulation Theory

Short, TL; (2016) A Defence of Simulation Theory. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this thesis I defend the Simulation Theory of Mind against the Theory Theory of Mind. I do this in two major ways. Firstly, I set out the logical space available to accounts of Theory of Mind and suggest that there are many valuable options available to simulational accounts. I also canvas serious objections to Theory Theory which have not I contend been resolved. I will argue that hybrid theoretical accounts do not resolve all of these objections. Further types of hybrid accounts which add in some simulational capacities, some of which involve both theory and simulation, are complex and unparsimonious and so a different approach is needed. I argue for a specific weak hybrid approach which is very close to pure Simulation Theory. This avoids all of the objections. Secondly, I provide an answer to a challenge to Simulation Theory which is widely considered to be its single most significant problem. That challenge, termed the `argument from error,' is that while Simulation Theory can account for frequent error in Theory of Mind, it cannot account for the systematic nature of those errors. My response is a novel Bias Mismatch Defence. This suggests that the systematic errors can arise because cognitive biases, such as Confirmation Bias, can have differential effects in the person simulating and the person being simulated.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A Defence of Simulation Theory
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475972
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