Interacting with Fictions: The Role of Pretend Play in Theory of Mind Acquisition

Semeijn, M., Mar-2019, In : Review of Philosophy and Psychology. 10, 1, p. 113–132 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Pretend play is generally considered to be a developmental landmark in Theory of Mind acquisition. The aim of the present paper is to offer a new account of the role of pretend play in Theory of Mind development. To this end I combine Hutto and Gallagher’s account of social cognition development with Matravers’ recent argument that the cognitive processes involved in engagement with narratives are neutral regarding fictionality. The key contribution of my account is an analysis of pretend play as interaction with fictions. I argue that my account offers a better explanation of existing empirical data on the development of children’s pretend play and Theory of Mind than the competing theories from Leslie, Perner and Harris.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113–132
Number of pages20
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date15-Feb-2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019


  • Matravers, pretend play, Theory of Mind, Mindreading, Embodied cognition, FALSE-BELIEF, SYMBOLIC PLAY, CHILDREN, DESIRE, REPRESENTATION, ATTRIBUTION, 3-YEAR-OLD, INFANTS

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 54922423