David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 165 (1):13 - 29 (2008)
I suggest a pluralistic account of folk psychology according to which not all predictions or explanations rely on the attribution of mental states, and not all intentional actions are explained by mental states. This view of folk psychology is supported by research in developmental and social psychology. It is well known that people use personality traits to predict behavior. I argue that trait attribution is not shorthand for mental state attributions, since traits are not identical to beliefs or desires, and an understanding of belief or desire is not necessary for using trait attributions. In addition, we sometimes predict and explain behavior through appeal to personality traits that the target wouldn't endorse, and so could not serve as the target's reasons. I conclude by suggesting that our folk psychology includes the notion that some behavior is explained by personality traits—who the person is—rather than by beliefs and desires—what the person thinks. Consequences of this view for the debate between simulation theory and theory theory, as well as the debate on chimpanzee theory of mind are discussed
|Keywords||Folk psychology Action theory Belief attribution Explanation Prediction Animal cognition Developmental psychology Social psychology Simulation theory Theory theory Chimpanzee mind Theory of mind|
|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
Kristin Andrews (2005). Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places? Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
I. Apperly (1998). Children's Mental Representation of Referential Relations. Cognition 67 (3):287-309.
Paul M. Churchland (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
Donald Davidson (1963). Actions, Reasons, and Causes. Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685-700.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2005). Folk Psychology as a Model. Philosophers' Imprint 5 (6):1-16.
Citations of this work BETA
Martin Capstick (2013). On-Line False Belief Understanding Qua Folk Psychology? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):27-40.
Elske Vaart & Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (2012). 'Theory of Mind' in Animals: Ways to Make Progress. Synthese (3):1-20.
Elske van der Vaart & Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (2012). 'Theory of Mind' in Animals: Ways to Make Progress. Synthese 191 (3):1-20.
Similar books and articles
Kristin Andrews (2009). Telling Tales. Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):227-235.
Ian Ravenscroft, Folk Psychology as a Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Kristin Andrews, The Need to Explain Behavior: Predicting, Explaining, and the Social Function of Mental State Attribution.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2006). "Folk Psychology" is Not Folk Psychology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (1):31-52.
Martin Davies & Tony Stone (1998). Folk Psychology and Mental Simulation. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 53-82.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2007). Rethinking Commonsense Psychology: A Critique of Folk Psychology, Theory of Mind and Simulation. Palgrave Macmillan.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2005). Mental Mirroring as the Origin of Attributions. Mind and Language 20 (5):495-520.
Tony Stone & Martin Davies (1998). Folk Psychology and Mental Simulation. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 43:53-82.
Joshua Knobe & Gabriel Mendlow (2004). The Good, the Bad and the Blameworthy: Understanding the Role of Evaluative Reasoning in Folk Psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):252-258.
Kristin Andrews (2008). It's in Your Nature: A Pluralistic Folk Psychology. Synthese 165 (1):13 - 29.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #59,791 of 1,692,524 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #28,421 of 1,692,524 )
How can I increase my downloads?