Getting over "the problem of other minds": Communication in context

Alan Costall, Ivan Leudar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Theories of communication often assume that communication has a single, essential form or telos, the culmination of a one-track developmental process where precursors eventually give rise to the real thing. At one time, this essence of communication was identified with linguistic competence, whereas now it is largely defined in terms of "Theory of Mind." But the fundamental problem with "Theory of Mind" is the very problem it pretends to solve: "the problem of other minds." That problem, as formulated, is insoluble, even with the aid of theory or innate modules. In this article, we reject the superficial depth psychology of "Theory of Mind" in favour of a breadth psychology based on context. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-295
    Number of pages6
    JournalInfant Behavior and Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007


    • Communication
    • Context
    • Grice
    • Theory of mind
    • Vygotsky


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