Università degli Studi di Siena
Department of Education, human sciences and intercultural communication
PhD, 2011
  •  5
    The origins of mindreading: how interpretive socio-cognitive practices get off the ground
    with Tadeusz Wieslaw Zawidzki
    Synthese 1-23. forthcoming.
    Recent accounts of mindreading—i.e., the human capacity to attribute mental states to interpret, explain, and predict behavior—have suggested that it has evolved through cultural rather than biological evolution. Although these accounts describe the role of culture in the ontogenetic development of mindreading, they neglect the question of the cultural origins of mindreading in human prehistory. We discuss four possible models of this, distinguished by the role they posit for culture: the standa…Read more
  •  8
    Cultural evolutionary psychology is still evolutionary psychology
    with Duilio Garofoli
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42. 2019.
    The cognitive gadgets theory proposes to reform evolutionary psychology by replacing the standard nativist and internalist approach to modularity with a cultural constructivist one. However, the resulting “cultural evolutionary psychology” still maintains some controversial aspects of the original neo-Darwinian paradigm. These assumptions are unnecessary to the cognitive gadgets theory and can be eliminated without significant conceptual loss.
  •  13
    According to a widely shared view, experience plays only a limited role in children's acquisition of the capacity to pass the false belief test: at most, it facilitates or attunes the development of mindreading abilities from infancy to early childhood. Against the facilitation—and also the maturation—hypothesis, I report empirical data attesting that children and even adults never come to understand false beliefs when deprived of proper social and linguistic interaction. In contrast to the attu…Read more
  • Effective Intentions - Alfred Mele (review)
    Humana Mente 4 (15). 2011.
  •  60
    Embodied Social Cognition and Embedded Theory of Mind
    Biolinguistics 6 (3--47): 276--307. 2012.
    Embodiment and embeddedness define an attractive framework to the study of cognition. I discuss whether theory of mind, i.e. the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their behaviour, fits these two principles. In agreement with available evidence, embodied cognitive processes may underlie the earliest manifestations of social cognitive abilities such as infants’ selective behaviour in spontaneous-response false belief tasks. Instead, late theory-of-mind abilities, …Read more
  • La mente sociale - Cristina Meini e Massimo Marraffa (review)
    Humana Mente 2 (5). 2008.
  •  36
  •  9
    Recent studies demonstrated that 15-month-olds selectively respond to others’ beliefs. According to an epistemic mentalist interpretation, this attests that 15-month-olds possess a rudimentary capacity to attribute beliefs. Weaker interpretations suggest instead that infants are only sensitive to others’ beliefs because they can detect their proximal correlates. These two opposed interpretations often appeal to principled objections. In contrast, I argue that the dispute can be brought back to i…Read more
  •  5028
    Il test della falsa credenza
    Analytical and Philosophical Explanation 8 1-56. 2013.
    La ricerca empirica nelle scienze cognitive può essere di supporto all’indagine filosofica sullo statuto ontologico e epistemologico dei concetti mentali, ed in particolare del concetto di credenza. Da oltre trent’anni gli psicologi utilizzano il test della falsa credenza per valutare la capacità dei bambini di attribuire stati mentali a se stessi e a agli altri. Tuttavia non è stato ancora pienamente compreso né quali requisiti cognitivi siano necessari per passare il test né quale sia il loro …Read more
  •  28
    Psychology and Psychologies: which Epistemology? (edited book)
    Humana.Mente. 2009.
    If the definition of a scientific discipline depends on the definition of its object of investigation, the unity of psychology should depend on the unitarian description of the mind. However, the mind is anything but a unitarian concept. Its common sense definition is subject to temporal and geographical variation because the mental is also a cultural construct; and the variety of psychological disciplines nowadays existing proposes several definitions of the mental. The epistemology of psycholo…Read more
  •  3
  •  28
    Social cognitive abilities in infancy: Is mindreading the best explanation?
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (3): 387-411. 2015.
    I discuss three arguments that have been advanced in support of the epistemic mentalist view, i.e., the view that infants' social cognitive abilities manifest a capacity to attribute beliefs. The argument from implicitness holds that SCAs already reflect the possession of an “implicit” and “rudimentary” capacity to attribute representational states. Against it, I note that SCAs are significantly limited, and have likely evolved to respond to contextual information in situated interaction with ot…Read more
  •  39
    A simple explanation of apparent early mindreading: infants’ sensitivity to goals and gaze direction
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3): 497-515. 2015.
    According to a widely shared interpretation, research employing spontaneous-response false belief tasks demonstrates that infants as young as 15 months attribute (false) beliefs. In contrast with this conclusion, I advance an alternative reading of the empirical data. I argue that infants constantly form and update their expectations about others’ behaviour and that this ability extends in the course of development to reflect an appreciation of what others can and cannot see. These basic capacit…Read more
  • Pensieri Materiali - Simone Gozzano (review)
    Humana Mente 2 (5). 2008.
  •  68
    What does the False Belief test test?
    Phenomenology and Mind 1 197-207. 2011.
    The age at which children acquire the concept of belief is a subject of debate. Many scholars claim that children master beliefs when they are able to pass the false belief test, around their fourth year of life. However, recent experiments show that children implicitly attribute beliefs even earlier. The dispute does not only concern the empirical issue of discovering children’s early cognitive abilities. It also depends on the kind of capacities that we associate to the very concept. I claim t…Read more
  •  5
    We address recent interpretations of infant performance on spontaneous false belief tasks. According to most views, these experiments show that human infants attribute mental states from a very young age. Focusing on one of the most clearly worked out, minimalist versions of this idea, Butterfill and Apperly's "minimal theory of mind" framework, we defend an alternative characterization: the minimal theory of rational agency. On this view, rather than conceiving of social situations in terms of …Read more
  •  28
    Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (2): 298-302. 2015.
    Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2013.804645