Why cognitive science is not formalized folk psychology

M Pickering, N Chater

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

It is often assumed that cognitive science is built upon folk psychology, and that challenges to folk psychology are therefore challenges to cognitive science itself. We argue that, in practice, cognitive science and folk psychology treat entirely non-overlapping domains: cognitive science considers aspects of mental life which do not depend on general knowledge, whereas folk psychology considers aspects of mental life which do depend on general knowledge. We back up our argument on theoretical grounds, and also illustrate the separation between cognitive scientific and folk psychological phenomena in a number of cognitive domains. We consider the methodological and theoretical significance of our arguments for cognitive science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-337
Number of pages29
JournalMinds and machines
Volume5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • FOLK PSYCHOLOGY
  • MODULARITY
  • DEFEASIBLE REASONING
  • KNOWLEDGE REPRESENTATION
  • PROPOSITIONAL ATTITUDES
  • LANGUAGE
  • COGNITION
  • PERCEPTION
  • FUNCTIONAL ARCHITECTURE
  • LOGIC
  • CONTEXT

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