David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):271-295 (2002)
According to explanatory individualism, every action must be explained in terms of an agent's desire. According to explanatory nonindividualism, we sometimes act on our desires, but it is also possible for us to act on others' desires without acting on desires of our own. While explanatory nonindividualism has guided the thinking of many social scientists, it is considered to be incoherent by most philosophers of mind who insist that actions must be explained ultimately in terms of some desire of the agent. In the first part of the paper, I show that some powerful arguments designed to demonstrate the incoherence of explanatory nonindividualism fail. In the second part of the paper, I offer a nonindividualist explanation of the apparent obviousness of belief-desire psychology. I argue that there are two levels of the intelligibility of our actions. On the more fundamental (explanatory) level, the question "Why did the agent do something?" admits a variety of folk-psychological categories. But there is another (formation-of-self) level, at which the same question admits only of answers that ultimately appeal only to the agent's own desires. Explanatory individualism results from the confusion of the two levels
|Keywords||Consciousness Individualism Intentionality Metaphysics Mind Psychology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hans Bernhard Schmid (2010). Philosophical Egoism: Its Nature and Limitations. Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):217-240.
Similar books and articles
Craig DeLancey (1998). Real Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 11 (4):467-487.
Paul K. Moser (1994). Naturalism and Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):63-84.
Nicholas P. Power (1996). Fodor's Vindication of Folk Psychology and the Charge of Epiphenomenalism. Journal of Philosophical Research 21 (January):183-196.
Robert A. Wilson (1995). Cartesian Psychology and Physical Minds: Individualism and the Sciences of the Mind. Cambridge University Press.
David J. Buller (1997). Individualism and Evolutionary Psychology (Or: In Defense of "Narrow" Functions). Philosophy of Science 64 (1):74-95.
Katarzyna Paprzycka (1998). Must False Consciousness Be Rationally Caused? Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (1):69-82.
Richard Menary (2009). Intentionality and Consciousness. In William Banks (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Consciousness. Elsevier.
Jerome C. Wakefield (2002). Broad Versus Narrow Content in the Explanation of Action: Fodor on Frege Cases. Philosophical Psychology 15 (2):119-33.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #102,975 of 1,413,175 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #153,719 of 1,413,175 )
How can I increase my downloads?