Against eliminative materialism: From folk psychology to volkerpsychologie

Philosophical Psychology 5 (4):349-68 (1992)
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In this paper it is argued that we would not be logically obliged or rationally inclined to reject the ontology of contentful psychological states postulated by folk psychology even if the explanations advanced by folk psychology turned out to be generally inaccurate or inadequate. Moreover, it is argued that eliminativists such as Paul Churchland do not establish that folk psychological explanations are, or are likely to prove, generally inaccurate or inadequate. Most of Churchland's arguments—based upon developments within connectionist neuroscience—only cast doubt upon the adequacy of 'sentential' theories of cognitive processing, not upon scientifically developed forms of folk psychological explanation of behavior, such as those offered by contemporary social psychology. Finally, it is noted that Churchland's brand of eliminativism rests upon a crude reductive criterion of theoretical adequacy that has little to recommend it, and suggested that the recognized theoretical limitations of contemporary social psychology may be precisely due to its historical commitment to this reductive criterion



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John Greenwood
CUNY Graduate Center

Citations of this work

Split‐Brains and Singular Personhood.John D. Greenwood - 1993 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):285-306.
Split brains and singular personhood.John D. Greenwood - 1993 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):285-306.
A sense of identity: Prolegomena to a social theory of personal identity.John D. GreenwooD - 1994 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 24 (1):25–46.

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