Examples Of Folk Psychology

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Manny Pineyro Philosophy of Mind Paper 1 Folk psychology refers to our capacities for explaining and predicating the behavior of others by attributing mental states to them. We assume that other people have mental states such as beliefs, desires and so on. Attributing these mental states to others is a part of what allows us to understand them and to engage with them effectively. Basically folk psychology is the central part of our capacity for social cognition and our capacity for dealing with other people. To give a very simple example, say I go to the kitchen to get slice of pepperoni pizza. Why would I do this? I desired a slice of pizza and I believed there was a slice of pizza in the kitchen. Either I had no countervailing desires…show more content…
One very essential way we understand the behavior of others is by attributing a variety of mental states and predicting and emphasizing the basis of their behavior of these attributed mental states. We’ve seen some ways in which philosophers have tried to accommodate mental states in the physical, material world but now we’ve come to a rather different solution. An eliminativist would say there is no problem with mental states because mental states do not exist. Paul Churchland was one of the most well-known philosophers that focused on eliminativism. Churchland put his focus on mental states otherwise known as propositional attitudes. How is it even possible to say that mental states don’t exist? Saying belief and desires don’t exist is like saying trees don’t exist. But of…show more content…
So we wouldn’t come to the conclusion that I desired a slice of pizza by looking directly inside my head. Instead we make an inference based on my behavior. So how do we make that inference? How do we arrive at the conclusion that other people have mental states? Essentially the theory-theory claims folk psychology is a theory similar to scientific theories. On the view that folk psychology is a theory, the thought is that folk psychology assumes various theoretical entities such as beliefs, desires, etc. and relates these entities to behavior with loose laws. This allows me to infer mental states based on observed behavior. I am in complete agreement with the idea of folk psychology being a theory. Folk psychology connects behavior with mental states and that allows me to infer mental states on the basis of observed behavior. When we understand other people we apply a theory to their behavior – we understand others by employing a theory. An important thing to note is that obviously we are not always consciously aware of this. Additionally, folk psychology does seem to share a number of features with theories. For instance, theories are abstract; they go beyond observations. This is clearly the case with folk psychology. The relevant observations are simply observations of behavior. Folk psychology infers from behavior by suggesting internal mental states. Furthermore, theories

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