Where next for pragmatics and mind reading? A situation-based view (response to kissine)
Our commentary is mainly concerned with Kissine’s first argument, that mind-reading is not necessarily needed for pragmatics. We fully agree with Kissine, and we present (i) additional recent empirical evidence in support of this view, and (ii) a new model of pragmatics and mind-reading, based on the situation of language use rather than the type of pragmatic phenomenon that is instantiated. The last part of our commentary concerns the logical validity of Kissine’s argument, taking into account important concepts in autism research such as heterogeneity, equifinality, and neurodiversity, but also evaluating how relevant the empirical evidence from learning language from TV is to the debate on nativism vs constructivism. We conclude there is much to love (as regards pragmatics) and some to query (as regards the conclusions we can draw about nativism vs constructivism) in this timely and thought-provoking Perspective article.