Abstract：The″problem of other minds″and its? derivative model of″mindreading″have become an important topic of central concern to philosophers of mind, psychologists and cognitive scientists.The problem of other minds can be described as follows:if the mind is a very private entity that can only be accessed by oneself,then how can I possibly understand the minds of other people? How can I possibly share the world with others and how can people possibly share their own mental states with each other? Epistemologically speaking,the research on the problem of other minds has followed a path formulated by the traditional Anglo-American analytic philosophy,and have realized its systematic integration and scientific confirmation with various knowledge of brain sciences.However,it is worth noting that this path has relatively neglected Continental philosophy's reflections upon the issue of intersubj ectivity.Abundant phenomenological heritages have been found in the works of Husserl,Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty,Sartre,Stein,Gurwitsch,Scheler,and Schutz as they described and interpreting the ideas of other minds.Over the past decade or so,accompanied by the naturalization of phenomenology,many phenomenologists began to pay attention to the debates over those models of mindreading grounded in first-person and third-person perspectives,which indicated an absence of the experience of intersubj ectivity from second-person perspective. These models of mindreading have two representatives,namely the Theory-Theory(TT)and Simulation Theory(ST)as well as various sub-versions and hybrids.Based on third-person perspective,TT states that our understanding and explaining of other minds are based on a folk psychological theory which consists of a framework of propositional attitudes.On the contrary,ST denies that we come to understand others through deployment of a theory.Instead,we adopt first-person perspective to understand other minds that we put ourselves in others' shoes to consciously simulate,predict,and even explain others'minds. Accordingly,as proponents of″Phenomenological Proposal″(PP),Zahavi and Gallagher discerned that although the epistemological affinity between TT and ST seems not evident,it is more profound than what people has expected.Two epistemological presuppositions are shared by TT and ST.Firstly,the mentalistic supposition suggests that the problem of other minds is the problem to explain how we can access the minds of others.It is a problem of access because other minds are internal,hidden,closed,and behind the external and observable behaviors.Both TT and ST regard gaining access to other minds as a problem,and both adopt these terms concerning access to precisely explicate social cognition.Secondly,the supposition of universality holds that our reliance on some versions of theory or simulation(or combination of both)is close to be universal,that is,this folk psychological way of understanding and interacting with others is pervasive in our daily life. One of the most landmark contributions of cognitive neuroscience during the past 20 years was the discovery of″mirror neurons,″which are located in the premotor and parietal cortex of the monkey.They were activated not only when the monkey executed a particular action,but also when it saw or heard someone else perform the similar action.It was discovered in the ensuing research that the mirror neuron system exists in humans as well.Based on the functions and properties of mirror neuron system,we suggested the″neurophenomenological proposal″(NPP)in an attempt to reexamine the mentalistic supposition and the supposition of universality. Gallese's theory of Embodied Simulation(ES)is expected to provide an integrated theoretical framework for understanding other minds. It assumes that our social interactions become effective through reusing our own mental states or processes,and attributing the mental states and functionalities of processing to others. In this context, simulation is conceived of a non-conscious,pre-reflective functional mechanism of the mirror neuron system whose function is to model obj ects,agents,and events and can be triggered during our interactions with others.In most of our daily interactions, we have a direct social perception which can immediately understand the intentions of other agents,because their intentions are explicitly expressed in their actions.Consequently,when observing another agent's action,we can not only see a physical movement,but also″direct perceive″an intentional action.In conclusion,from PP to NPP,we not only criticize the two presuppositions of mind problem and mindreading, but also offer an epistemological and experiential remedy. Most proponents for mindreading suffer from the″Cartesian Anxiety,″which leads them to search for an absolute ground for understanding other minds.They believe that both first-person and third-person perspectives are using their″own-being″to support other beings.However,this dichotomy is problematic because it tries to cut off the interaction between inner and outer, experience and behavior,perceived body and inferred or simulated mind.Therefore,it is bound to fail in connecting self with others.
陈巍 李恒威. 直接社会知觉与理解他心的神经现象学主张[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2016, 2(6): 10-.
Chen Wei Li Hengwei. Direct Social Perception and Understanding Other Minds:A Neurophenomenological Proposal. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2016, 2(6): 10-.