Theory of mind in utterance interpretation: the case from clinical pragmatics

Cummings, L., 2015. Theory of mind in utterance interpretation: the case from clinical pragmatics. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. ISSN 1664-1078

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Abstract

The cognitive basis of utterance interpretation is an area that continues to provoke intense theoretical debate among pragmatists. That utterance interpretation involves some type of mind-reading or theory of mind (ToM) is indisputable. However, theorists are divided on the exact nature of this ToM-based mechanism. In this paper, it is argued that the only type of ToM-based mechanism that can adequately represent the cognitive basis of utterance interpretation is one which reflects the rational, intentional, holistic character of interpretation. Such a ToM-based mechanism is supported on conceptual and empirical grounds. Empirical support for this view derives from the study of children and adults with pragmatic disorders. Specifically, three types of clinical case are considered. In the first case, evidence is advanced which indicates that individuals with pragmatic disorders exhibit deficits in reasoning and the use of inferences. These deficits compromise the ability of children and adults with pragmatic disorders to comply with the rational dimension of utterance interpretation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Creators: Cummings, L.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Date: 2015
Volume: 6
ISSN: 1664-1078
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01286DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:56
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:12
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20270

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