[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] Origin of infant communication

I have recently been delving into ToM research and its potential relation to folk epistemology and epistemic cognition, and have been struck by the seeming absence of situated or sociocultural perspectives. The pointer to Reddy is helpful, but I'd greatly appreciate pointers to research on older children, say 2 - 8 years, that's framed from cultural perspectives.

You can reply to me off-list to save bandwidth.

Thanks in advance,
William A. Sandoval, Associate Professor
Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
Moore Hall 2335, PO Box 951521
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521
310.794.5431 (voice)  310.206.6293 (fax)

On Apr 30, 2010, at 11:25 AM, Rod Parker-Rees wrote:

Thanks Eric.

It is interesting that the ToM approach to explaining how we know about the hidden workings of other minds, described by Vasu Reddy as a third person approach, can itself be seen as being towards the systemising end of the spectrum proposed by Simon Baron-Cohen between the 'hyper-male', hyper systemising pole of extreme autism and the 'hyper-female', hyper empathising extreme seen in people with Williams syndrome - especially when compared with the more empathising model described by Reddy as a second-person approach.

All the best,


From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org [ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org]
Sent: 30 April 2010 18:50
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [xmca] Origin of infant communication

Hey Rod:

Your post got me thinking about the "theory of mind" regarding autism and the belief that people who are autistic lack the understanding that others have beliefs, attitudes and in behavior separate from the autistic person. The landmark study has the autistic in the room with someone else with a ball and a cap. The autistic person is asked to leave the room and when they return the ball is gone. The autistic person is asked where the ball has gone and without fail they do not know where it is. Then when the hat is lifted and the ball is revealed the autistic person cannot even answer how the ball got under the hat. They lack the ability to place abilities onto the other person apart from themselves. That said here is a link to
a perspective written by a person with autism regarding the "theory of



Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
Sent by: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
04/30/2010 12:14 PM
Please respond to "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"

To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
       Subject:        RE: [xmca] Origin of infant communication

Another (older) book which makes a similar case for a direct 'getting' of intersubjectivity, unmediated by what might be described as more cognitive
processes, is Peter Hobson's 'The Cradle of Thought'. Hobson uses
comparisons between chimpanzees, normally developing children and children
with autism to argue that one of the major differences in the social
experiences of autistic children is that although they may be able to work
out what other people's expressions, intonation, gestures etc. reveal
about their inner processes, they have to work this out, whereas normally
developing (or 'neurotypical') children have a much more immediate
knowledge - akin to empathy and mirror neuron responses. Interestingly,
one of Hobson's experiments involved asking children to 'read' STILL
photographs of faces showing emotional expressions (sometimes upside down, sometimes showing only eyes) even though, I would argue, the ability to
read photographs and the ability to read moving faces would seem to be
very different kinds of skills.

All the best,


From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf
Of Larry Purss [lpurss@shaw.ca]
Sent: 30 April 2010 14:32
To: Activity eXtended Mind, Culture,
Subject: [xmca] Origin of infant communication

Avis and Mike and Martin [and others on the infant theme]

What are the origins of infant engagement? I want to give some ideas from
Vasudevi Reddy. She writes
"A second-person approach [being addressed by a YOU] seems not only
explain infant behavior better than either a first person {I position} or
a third person "spectator" approach. It also changes the lens through
which we PERCEIVE the problem of other minds that is expressed in much of
the developmental literature. [that is, as a spectatorial process of
observation of mere behavior across a gap]  The important difference
between a 2nd person approach and a 1st person approach is that the
emphasis here is NOT on recognition of the SIMILARITY to self of other
peoples acts, but, crucially, of the EXPERIENCE of a RECIPROCAL RESPONSE
to the others acts. The gap between minds becomes hard to find in this
re-embodiment and this re-embedding.
Infants are capable of entering into dialogue [recognition and response] with other people remarkably early in life. {I would add this dialogical
process EXPERIENCED recognition and response continues to INFORM
communication throughout the lifespan}.

Reddy points out many philosophers take this 2nd person perspective [or lens]: W. James called it "being noticed", Bahktin, the recognition of an "answering consciousness", Hegel, the awareness of recognition, and Buber,
the experience of the I-thou relation.

This 2nd person concept refers to more than just "interpersonal
attraction", more than just a recognition of a SIMILARITY of another
person to the self, and more than just an INFERENCE from observation of
THE YOU is radically implicated in a 2nd person stance.


xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list