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“My mind”

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Abstract

Mind-reading is adapted for social interaction (e.g. coordination, cooperation, exchange), and, in particular, for adoption of beliefs and goals from others, and for influencing, manipulating, persuading them; that is, changing the other mind, beliefs and goals, in order to change their behavior. Given this ability to interpret the others&#8217; mind and to use this representation to induce certain behavior in others, in this paper I discuss the introjection of this mechanism, a reflexive application of this form of social cognition and action to our own selves. Or better, to be &#8220;our selves&#8221; means to have such a social-like representation (image) of us as a person, to know and to build who we are, by creating, updating and operating through this image. I assume that there is <i>self-directed mind-reading</i> and <i>self-influencing</i>: I learn to read my own behavior in mental terms; I learn to have a reflexive mind-reading, based not on introspection but on behavior interpretation; this leads me to meta-represent by beliefs, goals, etc. For what&#63; Not just for understanding what I&#8217;m doing and why, not just for predicting and expecting what I will do, but also (and perhaps mostly) for helping myself and cooperating with myself, for influencing myself: changing my own mind, in particular my goals. In order to <i>fighting</i> or <i>cooperating</i> with myself, &#8220;imposing&#8221; to myself certain preferences, contrasting unwanted needs or dangerous desires. This activity involves reflexive communication acts, requests, duties, emotions, promises, and the like, all of which constitute a form of <i>reflexive sociality</i>: the intrapersonal re-use of skills and mechanisms originally evolved to serve interpersonal needs. Keywords: mind-reading; power; manipulation; self; will; sociality; internalization

References

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