Autism as Mind-Blindness: An Elaboration and Partial Defence
Peter Carruthers. Autism as Mind-Blindness: An Elaboration and Partial Defence. In P.Carruthers and P.K.Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
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In this chapter I shall be defending the mind-blindness theory of autism, by showing how it can accommodate data which might otherwise appear problematic for it. Specifically, I shall show how it can explain the fact that autistic children rarely engage in spontaneous pretend-play, and also how it can explain the executive-function deficits which are characteristic of the syndrome. I shall do this by emphasising what I take to be an entailment of the mind-blindness theory, that autistic subjects have difficulties of access to their own mental states, as well as to the mental states of other people.