Beliefs and desires incorporated

Journal of Philosophy 91 (8):404-25 (1994)
Abstract
Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that "folk" explanations of human behavior--explanations in terms of beliefs and desires--sometimes succeed. They sometimes enable us to understand and predict patterns of motion that otherwise would remain unintelligible and unanticipated. Is the only explanation for such success that folk psychology is a viable proto-scientific theory of human psychology? I shall describe an analysis which yields a negative answer to that question. It was suggested by an observation and an analogy, both of which may initially seem remote from the topic at hand.
Keywords Belief  Desire  Epistemology  Folk  Social Philosophy  Dennett, D  Descartes
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