Lorenzo Serini - Origins of mind, Week 8 Teleological reasoning in infancy: the naïve theory of rational action. G.

Gergely and G. Csisbra Central claim: 1 -mont!s-old infants begin to inter"ret obser#ed actions in terms of goals a""lying a non-mentalistic inter"retational system, t!e $teleological stance$. - %!e $mentalistic stance$, t!at is o&r ro&tinely ability to "redict ot!ers$ and to attrib&te t!em mental states 'beliefs, desires and intentions(, 1 emerges rather late in de#elo"ment: aro&nd ) years old. '&nderstanding of t!e false belief * reactions to a co&nterfact&al or fictional reality(. +o,e#er, some e#idence "ro#es t!at, by t!e end of t!eir first year of life, infants can inter"ret and "redict goal-directed actions. - So t!at, t!e article "ro"oses t!e alternati#e a""roac! of t!e $na-#e t!eory of rational action$ or t!e $teleological stance$: according to t!is, infants$ inter"retational system is ca"able to re"resent e#ents by relating relevant aspects of reality 'action, goal-state and situational constraints(, and t!is ca"acity does not in#ol#e any re"resentation of state of mind. .&estion: +o, is t!e early teleological inter"retation of actions '%( related to t!e mat&re mentalistic inter"retation of actions * or t!eory of mind * '/(0 1( One-year-old children already take the mentalistic stance : many st&dies s&ggest t!at t!ere is no qualitative gap between T and M. '1or instance, /eltzoff$s t!eory and +eider and Simmel$s st&dy in 12)) foc&se on t!e ant!ro"omor"!ic inter"retation on not-!&man actions in terms of desires, intentions and beliefs3 as ,ell as 4iaget$s ,ork in 12 2 tries to "ro#e t!at yo&ng c!ildren inter"ret t!e be!a#io&r of non-!&man entities 'clo&ds, for e5am"le( in terms of intentions and beliefs: s&c! inter"retations, basically, e5"lain % and / as t!e same tendency to a""ly t!e &nderstanding of !&man actions to non!&man entities for imitation. Ot!er,ise, ot!er modularist t!eories "ro"ose an innate mec!anism t!at can identify ca&sal intentional mind states to inter"ret t!e actions of ot!ers(. ( The teleological stance in one-year-olds (which is the article proposal) : t!e a&t!ors criticise t!e 1( "ositions and arg&e t!at infants can re"resent, e5"lain and "redict goal directed actions without M. 6n order to "ro#e t!is "ro"osal, t!e article re"orts 7 e5"eriments based on t!e #iolation-of e5"ectation looking time st&dies. '6nfants look longer, if t!ey are more interested in somet!ing t!at #iolate t!e !abits( 85"eriments: 6nfants '1 -mont!-old( ,ere !abit&ated to a com"&ter-animatad action. %!en t!ey are s!o,n an incom"atible e#ent. 9nd after a different b&t com"atible e#ent.


See :o5 1, ". 8;.

ill t!ey look longer0 '6ndication of #iolation-of-e5"ectation( → t!e incom"atible e#ent<<< =es&lts: 1 -years-old infants can 'i( inter"ret ot!ers> actions as goal.e !a#e seen d&ring t!is seminar( t!e necessary physical knowledge required for this evaluation . t!e goal state. 2-mont!s-old infants look significantly less at t!e incongr&ent action t!an 1 -mont!-olds of bot! t!e e5"erimental gro&" and control gro&".it!in t!e constraints of t!e sit&ation is t!e most efficient means to t!e goal. e5"ectation( e#en if t!ey already "ossess 'as . . 9 small a"ert&re bet. → %!is ca"acity emerges only aro&nd t!e first year of life and it is t!e ca"acity for teleological inter"retation of actions t!at in#ol#es t!e early de#elo"ment of t!e &se of rational principle '"&re reason in infants(.o c!aracters: a c!aser ball and a c!ased ball.o obstacles. =eading t!e gra"!ic: 1irstly. 6f infants still lack t!e com"le5 inter"retational system to re"resent intentional mind states '/(. 'ob?ect consistency for e5am"le( %!erefore. /ore in detail: Let &s consider t!e e5"eriment b(: '%!e e#ent in#ol#es t.W!ic! e#ent . W!at does it mean0 6/4O=%9@%: 2-mont!s-old infants failure in t!is inter"retation task '"rediction. 1 -mont!s-old infants look significantly longer to t!e incongr&ent action.een t. 'ii( evaluate . Control gro&" t!e same size. t!e "!ysical kno. 6n t!e !abit&ation e#ent t!ere is t!e constraint of a "!ysical ob?ect and so t!e big ball deto&r is more ?&stified t!an t!e small ball deto&r(.directed. ne#ert!eless t!ey already possess a non mentalistic teleological inter"retati#e stance * based on t!e rational "rinci"le * to e5"lain and "redict goal-directed actions. and 'iii( expect t!e agent to "erform t!e most efficient means a#ailable. Secondly. and t!e constraints of "!ysical reality.!ic! one of t!e alternati#e actions a#ailable . e#al&ation. %!e rational "rinci"le: %!e early inter"retational system '%( establis!ed a s"ecific e5"lanatory relation among t!ree re"resentational elements: t!e action. t!e shortest way in t!e most efficient means available.ledge is not sufficient in t!is sit&ation: t!ere is no "!ysical "rinci"le t!at reA&ire t!at ob?ects s!o&ld follo.

111-177.B. . . '9""lied to different contents(.ords.ards t!at goal state t!at is a#ailable .!ic! states t!at( an action can be e5"lained by reference to a f&t&re goal stat if and only if it is seen as the most ustifiable and efficient action to. "". Cognition. Csibra et al.. !"#"!"$%"& G. ' CC7( One-year-old infants &se teleological re"resentations of action "rod&cti#ely.. .. Csibra et al. G. 7. '1222( Goal attrib&tion . . infants are ca"able to teleological inter"retation of obser#ed actions t!ank to t!e "rinci"le of rationality: t!e relation t!at links t!e action to t!e goal to reality constraints.6n ot!er . %!is s"ecific str&ct&re constit&tes a well-formed teleological inter"retation if satisfies t!e "rinci"le of rational action: '. Cognitive Science.it!o&t agency c&es: t!e "erce"tion of $"&re reason$ in infancy. "".it!in t!e constraints of reality. Concl&sion: %!e article seems to s&ggest t!at t!e emerging of t!e non-mentalistic teleological inter"retation of actions by t!e first year of life mig!t be an im"ortant stage 'ore "re-stage( for t!e de#elo"ment of t!e more mat&re attrib&tion of mental states3 in fact bot! t!ese inter"retational le#els in#ol#e t!e same principle of rationality .

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