Intentionality, mind and folk psychology

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):39-41 (1993)
The comment addresses central issues of a "theory theory" approach as exemplified in Gopnik' and Goldman's BBS-articles. Gopnik, on the one hand, tries to demonstrate that empirical evidence from developmental psychology supports the view of a "theory theory" in which common sense beliefs are constructed to explain ourselves and others. Focusing the informational processing routes possibly involved we would like to argue that his main thesis (e.g. idea of intentionality as a cognitive construct) lacks support at least for two reasons: one methodological and one structural. On the other hand, Goldman raises an important question when he is asking how people ascribe mental states to themselves. Reasons why Goldman's attempt to understand common sense mental representations by using an analogy from visual perception is problematic are discussed. The role which is attributed to a phenomenology is evaluated.
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    A. Allport (1988). What Concept of Consciousness? In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.

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