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Title: A defence of simulation theory
Author: Short, T. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 4378
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available