From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case against Belief

Overview

The average person has a rich belief system about the thoughts and motives of people. From antiquity to the beginning of this century, Stephen Stich points out, this "folk psychology" was employed in such systematic psychology as there was: "Those who theorized about the mind shared the bulk of their terminology and their conceptual apparatus with poets, critics, historians, economists, and indeed with their own grandmothers."In this book, Stich puts forth the radical thesis that the notions of believing, ...

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Overview

The average person has a rich belief system about the thoughts and motives of people. From antiquity to the beginning of this century, Stephen Stich points out, this "folk psychology" was employed in such systematic psychology as there was: "Those who theorized about the mind shared the bulk of their terminology and their conceptual apparatus with poets, critics, historians, economists, and indeed with their own grandmothers."In this book, Stich puts forth the radical thesis that the notions of believing, desiring, thinking, prefering, feeling,imagining, fearing, remembering and many other common-sense concepts that comprise the folk psychological foundations of cognitive psychology should not - and do not - play a significant role in the scientific study of the mind.Stephen P. Stich is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262690928
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/1985
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert O. Keohane is a Professor of Political Science at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Anne-Marie Slaughter is J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International,Foreign, and Comparative Law, and Director of Graduate and International Legal Studies, at Harvard Law School.

Miles Kahler is J. Rohr Professor of Pacific International Relations in the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Judith L. Goldstein is Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Two Cultures and the Promise of Cognitive Science
I Folk Psychology
2 The TheoryTheory
1. From Descartes to David Lewis
2. Belief and the TheoryTheory: Some Problems
3 Beliefs as Mental Sentences
1. Protoscience and Conceptual Analysis
2. Some Features of the Concept of Belief
3. Sentences in the Head
4. EXplaining the Facts about Belief
5. The Language of Thought
6. Sentence Type and Mental Token
4 Some Evidence Against Narrow Causal Accounts of
Belief
1. Holism
2. Reference
3. Irrelevant Causal Difference
5 A Content Theory of Belief
1. Content Mental Sentence Theories
2. Elaborations and Revisions
3. Testing the Theory Against the Facts
4. Absurd Beliefs
5. Animal Beliefs
6. Some Conclusions
6 De Dicto and De Re: The Myth of
Ambiguity
1. The Argument for Ambiguity
2. Indefinite Descriptions
3. Belief Sentences without Systematic Ambiguity
II Cognitive Science and the Concept of
Belief
7 The Strong Representational Theory of the Mind
1. Cognitive Generalizations Couched in Terms of Content
2. Some Reasons to Be Suspicious about the Strong RTM
3. Problems Posed by Ideological Similarity
4. Problems Posed by Reference Similarity
5. Problems Posed by CausalPattern Similarity
8 The Syntactic Theory of the Mind
1. The STM Vision of Cognitive Theories
2. The Advantages of STM Theories
3. Methodological Solipsism and the Autonomy Principle
4. Do STM Theories Miss Important Generalizations?
9 The Weak Representational Theory of the Mind
1. Syntactic Generalizations and Semantically Interpreted States
2. Interpreting Fodor andInterpreting the Weak RTM
3. The Argument from Cognitive Psychology
4. Interpreting Internal States to EXplain Interpreted Behavior
5. The Arguments from Reliability and Limited Knowledge
6. The Case Against the Weak RTM
10 Will the Concepts of Folk Psychology Find a Place in
Cognitive Science?
1. Folk Psychology Is a Degenerating Research Program
2. The Infralinguistic Catastrophe
3. The Multiplicity of Mental States
11 The Future of Folk Psychology
1. A Modified Panglossian Prospect
2. Could It Turn Out That There Are No Such Things as Beliefs?
3. The Instrumentalist View of Folk Psychology
Notes
References
IndeX
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