Unit One: Folk Psychology

‘Starting point’ for thinking about consciousness. Folk Psychology’s (FP) assumptions – the self has direct access, via consciousness, to mind & certainty about current mental states: Autonomous self, in charge of body & responsible for actions. FP – fusion between ‘hard-wired’ evolutionary psychology &  ‘ethnopsychology’, i.e. cultural conceptualisations of mind & consciousness. FP guides our behaviour, facilitates communication, & is embedded in our languages and attitudes. Its roots go back to Plato & were influenced by monotheistic theology. Descartes systemised Christian theology into Res Extensa & Res Cogitans. Modernism has undermined FP via; the ‘chain of causation’ in physics, Behaviourism in psychology & Identity Theory in philosophy, but the ‘Hard Problem’ remained, provoking 5 responses; denial (no qualia), reductionism, ‘normal science’ (cf. Vitalism), paradigm shift (e.g. quantum explanations) & Mysterianism. Churchland’s critique of FP:  a ‘stagnant research program’. No explanations for basic psychological phenomena. Should be eliminated by neuroscience terminology. But should FP be revived (Fodor, Andy Clark)? Key issue – causation: supervenience & ‘top-down’ causation.

Sec. One: The Starting Point

Sec. Two: Folk Psychs Two Halves

Sec. Three: The Uses of Evolutionary Psychology

Sec. Four: The Origins of Ethno-Psychology

Sec. Five: Modernism – Undermining Folk Pshchology

Sec. Six: But The ‘Hard Problem’ Remains