(Co-)Constructing a theory of mind: from language or through language?

Date
2020
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Source Title
Synthese
Print ISSN
0039-7857
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Springer
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Language
English
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Abstract

There is a large body of empirical work that has investigated the relationship between parents’ child-directed speech and their children’s Theory of Mind development. That such a relationship should exist is well motivated from both Theory Theory and Socio-Cultural (SC) perspectives. Despite this general convergence, we argue that theoretical differences between the two perspectives suggests nuanced differences in the expected outcomes of the empirical work. Further, the different ontological commitments of the two approaches have (mis)guided the design, coding, and analysis of existing research and imply different future directions. We discuss five areas of extant research that can be extended and diversified most coherently by adopting a SC framework.

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