This book focuses on the "theory of mind" hypothesis, an important new psychological approach to autism. The theory asserts that autistic children fail to develop the ability to think about mental states--a "theory of mind"--unlike other children, and thus fail to conceptualize behavior in terms of mental processes. Proponents argue that this psychological deficit underlies some of the key features of autism, such as abnormalities in social and communication development. The editors have collected both the evidence and the controversies surrounding the theory, and present a valuable discussion about the nature of what is widely recognized as the most severe childhood psychological disorder. The chapters are written by distinguished scholars from a variety of disciplines, including developmental psychology, neuropsychology, philosophy, psycho-linguistics, primatology, and psychoanalysis.