Accessibility navigation

Mirroring, mindreading and smart behaviour-reading

Borg, E. (2017) Mirroring, mindreading and smart behaviour-reading. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 24 (5-6). pp. 24-49. ISSN 1355-8250

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 January 2019.


Official URL:


This paper examines the claim that mirror neuron activity is the mechanism by which we come to know about the action-related intentions of others (e.g. Gallese et al 1996, Rizzolatti et al 2009), i.e. that they are a mechanism for ‘mindreading’. I agree with recent authors (e.g. Hickok 2008, Jacob 2008) who reject this view but nevertheless I argue that mirror neurons may still have a role to play in the ways in which we understand one another (social cognition). If we adopt a certain kind of pluralism about social cognition then the mirror neuron system could play a role in social cognition even if it provides no access to the minds of others at all. I argue for this view and consider what the approach might entail for the ontology of the mirror neuron system.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:67081
Publisher:Imprint Academic

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation