David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The Monist 96 (4):605-621 (2013)
Here I explore the prospects for fictionalism about the mental, modeled after fictionalism about possible worlds. Mental fictionalism holds that the mental states posited by folk psychology do not exist, yet that some sentences of folk psychological discourse are true. This is accomplished by construing truths of folk psychology as “truths according to the mentalistic fiction.” After formulating the view, I identify five ways that the view appears self-refuting. Moreover, I argue that this cannot be fixed by semantic ascent or by a kind of primitivism. Even so, I also show that the “self-refutation” charges are subtly question-begging. Nevertheless, the reply reveals that a mental fictionalist ought to be a kind of quietist.
|Keywords||Pretense Theory Eliminativism Primitive Terms Semantic Ascent Quietism|
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