Mindshaping the world can make mindreading tractable: Bridging the gap between philosophy and computational complexity analysis


It is often assumed that the socio-cultural context positively influences mindreading performances. Among the available theories, mindshaping is proposed to consist of cultural mechanisms that make the social domain homogeneous and, hence, easier to interpret. Proponents of the mindshaping hypothesis claim that homogeneity is responsible for the computational tractability of mindreading, which is otherwise intractable. In this paper, we examine this core claim of mindshaping and investigate how homogeneity influences mindreading tractability. By taking action understanding as a case-study for mindreading, we formally operationalize mindshaping homogeneity in different ways with the goal of bridging the gap between informal claims and formal (in)tractability results. The analysis shows that only specific combinations of homogeneity may lead to tractable mindreading, whilst others do not. Additionally, the analysis reveals the possibility of a yet undiscovered mindshaping mechanism.

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