Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind is, according to Wikipedia, the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own.

There is debate as to whether or not animals are capable of theory of mind, quite apart from the debate one hears among any group of friends as to whether or not certain humans are capable of it.

Barbara J. King is blogging today about animals behaving in uncharacteristic ways that demonstrate intelligence and/or feeling for another. She’s inviting readers to contribute their own first-hand accounts. Drop by and share your stories.

WRITING PROMPT: Write an animal who behaves as if it has theory of mind. Write a human who behaves as if he/she does not.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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