Thanks to Michael Levin, Heather Battaly, and audiences at City College, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Western Division of the APA, and the National University of Singapore for comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 132–149, April 2007
How to Cite
GREENWOOD, J. D. (2007), Unnatural Epistemology. Mind & Language, 22: 132–149. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00303.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
Abstract: ‘Naturalized’ philosophers of mind regularly appeal to the empirical psychological literature in support of the ‘theory-theory’ account of the natural epistemology of mental state ascription (to self and others). It is argued that such appeals are not philosophically neutral, but in fact presuppose the theory-theory account of mental state ascription. It is suggested that a possible explanation of the popularity of the theory-theory account is that it is generally assumed that alternative accounts in terms of introspection (and simulation) presuppose a discredited ‘inner ostensive definition’ account of the meaning of mental state terms. However, the inner ostensive definition account is not the only alternative to the theory-theory account of the meaning of mental state terms, and commitment to a theory-theory account of the meaning of mental state terms does not mandate commitment to a theory-theory account of the epistemology of mental state ascription.