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By Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

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Furthermore, according to Carruthers, when the mindreading system does its standard job of third-person mental-state attribution, this sort of data “play little or no role” (target article, sect. 2, para. 8). Presumably, they can contribute, for example, by biasing the outcome of the mindreading processes (like when negative affect leads one to attribute malicious rather than friendly intentions). However, in first-person attributions, their function is quite different. They are the main source of input, providing the mindreading system with cues on the basis of which it can recognize current emotional attitude-states.

I conclude that Carruthers’ case against a mixed position is not compelling. It is important to stress that the proposed mixed position does not involve positing additional introspective mechanisms. Carruthers allows that we have introspective access to conscious (System 2) thinking; I am simply claiming that some of the introspectable events can be legitimately classified as judgments and decisions. The proposal is merely a reconceptualization of the processes Carruthers describes. But it is a natural 146 BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2009) 32:2 one, given a two-level view of the sort Carruthers endorses, and one that accords with intuition.

Conversely, we offer rhesus monkeys as a case study in a metacognitively competent animal that fares poorly at mindreading. In the tasks we describe, metacognitive processing can lead to positive outcomes that are evolutionarily adaptive. Indeed, metacognitive monitoring seems to have its own rewards. 1017/S0140525X09000697 Peter Langland-Hassan Department of Philosophy, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10016. edu/PLangland-Hassan Abstract: While Carruthers denies that humans have introspective access to cognitive attitudes such as belief, he allows introspective access to perceptual and quasi-perceptual mental states.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 32, Issue 2, April 2009 by Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)


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