What do the pointing gesture, the imitation of new complex motor patterns,
the evocation of absent objects and the grasping of others’ false beliefs
all have in common? Apart from being (one way or other) involved in the
language, they all would share a demanding requirement – a second mental
centre within the subject. This redefinition of the simulationism is
extended in the present book in two directions.
Firstly, mirror-neurons and, likewise, animal abilities connected with the
visual field of their fellows, although they certainly constitute important
landmarks, would not require this second mental centre.
Secondly, others’ beliefs would have given rise not only to predicative
communicative function but also to pre-grammatical syntax. The inquiry
about the evolutionary-historic origin of language focuses on the cognitive
requirements on it as a faculty (but not to the indirect causes such as
environmental changes or greater co-operation), pays attention to children,
and covers other human peculiarities as well, e.g., symbolic play,
protodeclaratives, self-conscious emotions, and interactional or four-hand