Inference or interaction: social cognition without precursors

Shaun Gallagher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    103 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper I defend interaction theory (IT) as an alternative to both theory theory (TT) and simulation theory (ST). IT opposes the basic suppositions that both TT and ST depend upon. I argue that the various capacities for primary and secondary intersubjectivity found in infancy and early childhood should not be thought of as precursors to later developing capacities for using folk psychology or simulation routines. They are not replaced or displaced by such capacities in adulthood, but rather continue to operate as our ordinary and everyday basis for social cognition. I also argue that enactive perception rather than implicit simulation is the best model for explaining these capacities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-174
    JournalPhilosophical Explorations
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • interaction theory
    • simulation
    • folk psychology
    • primary intersubjectivity
    • enactive perception


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