David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 52 (5):532-547 (2009)
Participants in the debate about the nature of folk psychology tend to share one fundamental assumption: that its primary purpose consists in the prediction and explanation of another person’s behavior. The following essay will evaluate recent challenges to this assumption by philosophers such as Joshua Knobe who insist that folk psychology and its concepts are intimately linked to our ethical concerns. I will show how conceiving of folk psychology in an engaged manner enables one to account for the evidence cited in favor of an ethical interpretation of folk psychology, without undermining the claim that it is primarily an explanatory practice. Nevertheless, I will suggest that the basic cognitive stance of folk psychology has ethical implications that have been insufficiently noted in the contemporary context
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