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Simulation and Irrationality

Elisa Galgut


In this paper, I hope to show how a recent theory in the philosophy of mind concerning how we ‘read’ the minds of others—namely, Heal’s version of simulation theory—is consistent with the view that the kind of understanding we bring to bear on the irrational is different in kind from the way we understand one another in the course of everyday life. I shall attempt to show that Heal’s version of simulation theory (co-cognition) is to be favoured over its rival ‘theory theories’ in the light of its accommodation of deeply irrational mental states. I claim that simulation theory preserves an asymmetry of psychological explanation which is not similarly preserved by a theory theory account, and I argue that this preservation of asymmetry is an advantage of Heal’s account.