The evolution and development of visual perspective taking

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

I outline three conceptions of seeing that a creature might possess: “the headlamp conception,” which involves an understanding of the causal connections between gazing at an object, certain mental states, and behavior; “the stage lights conception,” which involves an understanding of the selective nature of visual attention; and seeing-as. I argue that infants and various nonhumans possess the headlamp conception. There is also evidence that chimpanzees and 3-year-old children have some grasp of seeing-as. However, due to a dearth of studies, there is no evidence that infants or nonhumans possess the stage lights conception of seeing. I outline the kinds of experiments that are needed, and what we stand to learn about the evolution and development of perspective taking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-204
Number of pages22
JournalMind and Language
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • mindreading
  • seeing
  • the logical problem
  • theory of mind
  • visual perception
  • visual perspective taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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