Folk Psychological Narratives and the Case of Autism

Philosophical Papers 32 (3):345-361 (2003)
This paper builds on the insights of Jerome Bruner by underlining the central importance of narratives explaining actions in terms of reasons, arguing that by giving due attention to the central roles that narratives play in our everyday understanding of others provides a better way of explicating the nature and source of that activity than does simulation theory, theory-theory or some union of the two. However, although I promote Bruner’s basic claims about the roles narratives play in this everyday enterprise, I take issue with his characterization of the nature of narrative itself. In so doing, important questions are brought to the fore about what makes our understanding of narratives possible. In line with the idea that we ought to tell a developmental story that looks to a the social arena for the source of narratives about reasons, I promote the idea that what is minimally required for becoming conversant in such everyday narratives need not be anything as sophisticated as a theory of mind or a capacity for simulation. The paper concludes using evidence concerning autism as a test case to help support this conclusion.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4314/pp.v32i3.29458
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,890
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Robert M. Gordon (1996). 'Radical' Simulationism. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Daniel D. Hutto (2009). Folk Psychology as Narrative Practice. Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8):6 - 8.
C. Behan McCullagh (2000). The Structure and Objectivity of Historical Narratives. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000:145-158.
Daniel D. Hutto (2008). Limited Engagements and Narrative Extensions. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (3):419 – 444.
T. Uebel (2012). Narratives and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (1):31-67.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

242 ( #4,210 of 1,725,305 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

210 ( #605 of 1,725,305 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.