The very idea of a folk psychology

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 30 (December):381-93 (1987)
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Three arguments are proposed against the idea that ordinary talk about the mind constitutes a folk psychology, a sort of prescientific theory which explains human behaviour and which is ripe for replacement by a neurological or computational theory with better scientific credentials. First, not all talk of the mind is introduced to explain in the way assumed by those who think that mental talk hypothesizes inner processes to explain behaviour. Second, the individuation of the behaviour which is explained by the inner processes itself requires reference to ?mental? states such as intentions or desires. Consequently the project is circular. Finally, scientific theory is a practice with a history which may be matched in the case of ordinary talk of the mind. Certainly ordinary talk of motives, intentions, and thoughts may be infected by the theorizing of economists and sociologists et al., but it is impossible that all talk of the mind should be theoretical in this way



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Citations of this work

What i s Folk Psychology?Stephen Stich & Ian Ravenscroft - 1994 - Cognition 50 (1-3):447-468.
Minds made up.R. A. Sharpe - 1991 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):91 – 106.
Folk psychology as theory or practice? The case for eliminative materialism.John M. Preston - 1989 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (September):277-303.

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References found in this work

Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York,: Humanities Press.
Pragmatics in science and theory in common sense.Kathleen V. Wilkes - 1984 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 27 (December):339-61.
Replies to comments.Patricia Smith Churchland - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):241 – 272.

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