Saving Mental Fictionalism from Cognitive Collapse

Res Philosophica 93 (2):405-424 (2016)
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Abstract

Mental fictionalism maintains that: (1) folk psychology is a false theory, but (2) we should nonetheless keep using it, because it is useful, convenient, or otherwise beneficial to do so. We should (or do) treat folk psychology as a useful fiction—false, but valuable. Yet some argue that mental fictionalism is incoherent: if a mental fictionalist rejects folk psychology then she cannot appeal to fictions in an effort to keep folk psychological discourse around, because fictions presuppose the legitimacy of folk psychology. Call this the Argument from Cognitive Collapse. In this paper, I defend several different mental fictionalist views against cognitive collapse.

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Meg Wallace
University of Kentucky

Citations of this work

Fictionalism and the folk.Adam Toon - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):280-295.
What we talk about when we talk about mental states.Zoe Drayson - 2022 - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. Routledge. pp. 147-159.
Can Deflationism Save Interpretivism?Krzysztof Poslajko - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):709-725.
Mental fact and mental fiction.Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas - 2022 - In Tamas Demeter, Ted Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental fictionalism. London, UK: pp. 303-319.
Minds, materials and metaphors.Adam Toon - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (2):181-203.

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Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology.Daniel C. Dennett (ed.) - 1978 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: Bradford Books.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

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