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There are no folk psychological narratives.

Ratcliffe, M. (2009) 'There are no folk psychological narratives.', Journal of consciousness studies., 16 (6-8). pp. 379-406.


I argue that the task of describing our so-called ‘folk psychology’ requires difficult philosophical work. Consequently, any statement of the folk view is actually a debatable philosophical position, rather than an uncontroversial description of pre-philosophical commonsense. The problem with the current folk psychology debate, I suggest, is that the relevant philosophical work has not been done. Consequently, the orthodox account of folk psychology is an uninformative caricature of an understanding that is implicit in everyday discourse and social interaction, and also in literary narratives. I conclude by considering two recent departures from it, so-called ‘experimental philosophy’ and Daniel Hutto’s ‘narrative practice hypothesis’. Both, I claim, take steps in the right direction but retain unhelpful assumptions that they inherit from the orthodox view.

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Record Created:16 Sep 2009 11:35
Last Modified:09 Nov 2009 15:33

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