I’m aware many Autistic people don’t believe in the Theory of Mind deficits and I respect that.I’m not so sure.I don’t believe I have a theory of mind at all. Perhaps that’s not due to autism but something else. I for a number of years have described it as my dark matter problem.
Dark matter is a component of the universe whose presence is discerned from its gravitational attraction rather than its luminosity. In other words some of space. So I came to the point if it’s something that I don’t see or experience how can I know for sure it’s there?
I have then lately thought someone could ask me that question about God. Yet I feel more certain of God than Theory of Mind. Perhaps both to come extent are a leap of faith. Though you may not be popular with the faithful too.
What I have studied a lot in recent years is philosophy. I came to the conclusion that a Philosophy of Mind may help me find answers. In the end it has certainly provided me with a whole range of answers but no fix to my deficits.
If I had days or weeks to study a certain group of people I could mask well in the situation and fit in more. Though masking isn’t helpful it has sometimes got me more optimal results. I found reading the Bible and commentaries beforehand, helpful in joining a church for example.
The more on the fly social engagement I do less well at in Church. That’s where I think my theory of mind is lacking. If I had £1 million to retire on that would also improve my social standing. Being single, childless and jobless is another hidden social deficit that we ignore.
I believe the idea that Autistics have a distinct theory of mind from neurotypicals plausible. Though I wonder if autistic people just have developed philosophies of mind that means they can operate widely. My experience is when I meet academics they seem to relate better to me.
It’s possible to infer I would do better with only academics. And really it’s not a Theory of mind issue but a class struggle. I’m not sure. I doubt we will know the answer. Once we have built a computational theory of mind (AI) we will have third parties to make suggestions.
I just wonder really is a “double empathy problem” analogous to what Philosophy would call a “class conflict”. Which was discussed by Plato.