When does ‘Folk Psychology’ Count as Folk Psychological?

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The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0007-0882, Vol: 68, Issue: 4, Page: 1125-1147

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Hochstein, Eric
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Arts and Humanities
article description
It has commonly been argued that certain types of mental descriptions, specifically those characterized in terms of propositional attitudes, are part of a folk-psychological understanding of the mind. Recently, it has also been argued that this is the case even when such descriptions are employed as part of scientific theories in domains like social psychology and comparative psychology. In this article, I argue that there is no plausible way to understand the distinction between folk and scientific psychology that can support such claims. Moreover, these sorts of claims can have adverse consequences for the neuroscientific study of the brain by downplaying the value of many psychological theories that provide information neuroscientists need in order to build and test neurological models.