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Two Contrasts: Folk Craft versus Folk Science and Belief versus Opinion

Dennett, Daniel C (1991) Two Contrasts: Folk Craft versus Folk Science and Belief versus Opinion. [Book Chapter]

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Abstract

Let us begin with what all of us here agree on: folk psychology is not immune to revision. It has a certain vulnerability in principle. Any particular part of it might be overthrown and replaced by some other doctrine. Yet we disagree about how likely it is that that vulnerability in principle will turn into the actual demise of large portions--or all--of folk psychology. I am of the view that folk psychology is here for the long haul, and for some very good reasons. But I am not going to concentrate on that in my remarks. What nobody has bothered saying here yet, but is probably worth saying, is that for all of its blemishes, warts and perplexities, folk psychology is an extraordinarily powerful source of prediction. It is not just prodigiously powerful but remarkably easy for human beings to use. We are virtuoso exploiters of not so much a theory as a craft. That is, we might better call it a folk craft rather than a folk theory. The theory of folk psychology is the ideology about the craft, and there is lots of room, as anthropologists will remind us, for false ideology.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:261
Deposited By:Dennett, Daniel
Deposited On:05 Apr 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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