Accessibility navigation

Mirroring, mindreading and smart behaviour-reading

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

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

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 Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:67081
Publisher:Imprint Academic


Downloads per month over past year

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

Page navigation