Mindreading and the cognitive architecture underlying altruistic motivation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying altruistic motivation, one central question is the extent to which the capacity for altruism depends on the capacity for understanding other minds, or 'mindreading'. Some theorists maintain that the capacity for altruism is independent of any capacity for mindreading; others maintain that the capacity for altruism depends on fairly sophisticated mindreading skills. I argue that none of the prevailing accounts is adequate. Rather, I argue that altruistic motivation depends on a basic affective system, a 'Concern Mechanism', which requires only a minimal capacity for mindreading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-455
Number of pages31
JournalMind and Language
Volume16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Altruism
Motivation
altruism
Cognitive Architecture
Mindreading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Mindreading and the cognitive architecture underlying altruistic motivation. / Nichols, Shaun B.

In: Mind and Language, Vol. 16, No. 4, 09.2001, p. 425-455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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