The skill of perceiving persons


McGeer, V. (2009). The skill of perceiving persons. The Modern Schoolman , 86 (2/3), 289-318.


What do we ordinarily perceive when we see a person? This paper examines the virtuoso capacity of typical human beings to see others as minded – as possessed of a rich variety of mental states that animate their activities. The central message of the paper is that we become adept at perceiving the minds of others through developing our expertise in becoming so minded ourselves. “Normal psychological knowing” is what I call a “practice-dependent” skill or expertise. The paper shows this approach deals overcomes certain difficulties often associated with more standard explanations of our capacity for knowing other minds (simulation theory and theory-theory).

Last updated on 10/17/2017