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[Xmca-l] Re: Dynamics of Developmental Change
I suspect what can be missed is the awareness of the consequences of
Some problems stemming from this are:
1. A tendency to assume the object is continuously present, i.e. to have
some continuously available faculty that was previously absent.
2. A tendency to drift from a descriptive object based upon the formal
properties to a 'defined' one. Someone without an appreciation for
genetic/developmental logic may easily assume that this ToM 'object' is a
discrete thing that is independent of its historical development such that
at some felicitous age the 'ToM' object pings into existence for the
3. A tendency to mark as boldly distinct those continuities that may
actually be very minor and in many practical circumstances equivalently
good enough (e.g. genetic instances of 'theory', pre and post 'ToM').
I think maybe the third point here is perhaps the most nagging one. The
formal distinctions seem to exaggerate the differences which may actually
be quite similar.
Taking as another example your assumption about mind, the notion of a
conceived object of interior phenomena as mind is merely a formally
conceived one, because one has taken a slice of genetic continuities and
treated it as a discrete independent object or, if one hasn't 'sliced' the
continuity but is merely denoting an aspect of it, then the object denoted
is, as a consequence of its formal properties, of rather limited use and
one that cannot be used as a foundation for a definition (other than a
Expanding slightly on the first point, to have a faculty means to have a
potential. To have the faculty of flying a plane (or having a ToM), whilst
not flying, is to have the potential to reliably fly (or having the
potential to reliably exercise a ToM), which seems to be largely a basis of
prior exercise. Nevertheless, faculty here (as used in a pragmatic sense)
seems to be derived from reliability and precision in the undertaking, not
in its potential, even though the faculty remains a potential one even for
an experienced practitioner. Hence we see the difference again between
two different logical senses in terms of 'faculty'.
On 11 September 2015 at 16:28, Martin John Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I was assuming that a mind, if it exists, is 'interior.'
> If I lack a faculty that I have the potential to acquire, then I would say
> that I have the potential, but not the faculty. So an infant may have the
> potential for theory of mind (if we assume that this is how adults
> understand other people, which is open to question), but not this
> particular faculty. Am I missing something?
> On Sep 11, 2015, at 9:09 AM, Huw Lloyd <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Martin,
> > What does it mean to state that a developmental being lacks some faculty
> > that is potentially available to them? It seems to me it either means
> > this faculty lacks sophistication (and that it is then technically
> > incorrect to say that they lack the faculty per se) or that the claimant
> > making a logical fallacy by applying idioms of formal logic to a genetic
> > developmental domain.
> > Why should a nascent, genetically conceived ToM be something that is
> > interior?
> > Best,
> > Huw
> > On 11 September 2015 at 14:20, Martin John Packer <
> > wrote:
> >> David, Carol,
> >> Why not attribute a theory of mind to infants?
> >> First, because it seems extraordinary to suggest that infants are
> >> of forming theories. Piaget certainly never suggested that sensorimotor
> >> intelligence involved the forming of theories. Vygotsky argued that
> >> are incapable of verbal thinking, which would also seem to rule out the
> >> ability to form theories.
> >> Second, because there is no reason to think that infants know anything
> >> all about mental states such as beliefs and desires. Piaget didn't
> >> attribute such knowledge to infants. Vygotsky argued that children are
> >> aware of their own 'interiority' until around school age, and if this is
> >> the case it is hard to see how they could know about the interiority of
> >> other people.
> >> Third, the researcher responsible for identifying the phenomena of
> >> intersubjectivity, Colwyn Trevarthen, does not explain it in terms of
> >> theory of mind.
> >> Martin