Social interaction builds the we-mode

Online comment on Gallotti & Frith "Social cognition in the we-mode"

Bert Timmermans, Tobias Schlicht, Leonhard Schilbach

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

In spite of the merits of Gallotti and Frith’s we-mode proposal of social cognition, they attempt to separate social knowing from the dynamics of social interaction in order to focus on the individual mechanisms of social cognition. We argue that this approach leads to important shortcomings: 1) it imposes an implausible dichotomy between social and non-social interaction; 2) it is circular in that it simultaneously presupposes and tries to be explanatory of social skills and does not provide a developmental story for the representational capacities underlying the we-mode; 3) it does not really go beyond a notion of ‘mirror mechanism for mental states’ as it remains vague about its embodied versus representational nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2013

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Social interaction builds the we-mode : Online comment on Gallotti & Frith "Social cognition in the we-mode". / Timmermans, Bert; Schlicht, Tobias; Schilbach, Leonhard.

In: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 4, 21.05.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

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AB - In spite of the merits of Gallotti and Frith’s we-mode proposal of social cognition, they attempt to separate social knowing from the dynamics of social interaction in order to focus on the individual mechanisms of social cognition. We argue that this approach leads to important shortcomings: 1) it imposes an implausible dichotomy between social and non-social interaction; 2) it is circular in that it simultaneously presupposes and tries to be explanatory of social skills and does not provide a developmental story for the representational capacities underlying the we-mode; 3) it does not really go beyond a notion of ‘mirror mechanism for mental states’ as it remains vague about its embodied versus representational nature.

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