When I first read Douglas’s comment, I thought he was implying that Republican strategists want us to think Obama is worried that voters might end up concluding that black people actually buy into Reverend White’s incendiary belief that all whites are racist.
Well, that was nine levels of nested attributed mental states, so I guess yesterday’s commenters were right to point out that our ability to nest attributed mental states depends mightily on how things are presented. I’m sure somebody else could do better than my example, but it’s already pretty clear that with a little care we can go much deeper than five levels.
It would be interesting to make a computer game in which winning depends on successful use of Theory of Mind. For example, maybe to win the game you need to figure out such things as whether knowing that Ellen was lying when she said that her sister wanted to sleep with John actually tells you that Ellen’s sister was only pretending to be jealous after Ellen announced that John had said he wanted to marry her. Well, you get the idea.
If nothing else, we might get a whole new demographic of game players and game designers!