From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case against Belief

The average person has a rich belief system about the thoughts and motives of people. From antiquity to the beginning of this century, Stephen Stich points out, this folk psychology was employed in such systematic psychology as there was: Those who theorized about the mind shared the bulk of their terminology and their conceptual apparatus with poets, critics, historians, economists, and indeed with their own grandmothers. In this book, Stich puts forth the radical thesis that the notions of believing, desiring, thinking, prefering, feeling, imagining, fearing, remembering and many other common-sense concepts that comprise the folk psychological foundations of cognitive psychology should not -- and do not -- play a significant role in the scientific study of the mind.Stephen P. Stich is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland.