Folk Psychology Re-Assessed

  • Daniel D. Hutto
  • Matthew Ratcliffe

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VII
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Matthew Ratcliffe, Daniel D. Hutto
      Pages 1-22
  3. Emotion, Perception, and Interaction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Dan Zahavi
      Pages 25-40
    3. R. Peter Hobson
      Pages 41-61
    4. Beata Stawarska
      Pages 79-99
  4. Reasons, Norms, Narratives and Institutions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-101
    2. Peter Goldie
      Pages 103-114
    3. Daniel D. Hutto
      Pages 115-135
    4. Victoria McGeer
      Pages 137-156
    5. Joshua Knobe
      Pages 157-173
    6. Martin Kusch
      Pages 175-188
  5. The Fragmentation of Folk Psychology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
    2. Adam Morton
      Pages 211-221
    3. Matthew Ratcliffe
      Pages 223-243
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 245-254

About this book


1.1. FOLK PSYCHOLOGY, THEORY OF MIND AND SIMULATION The tasks we face in our day to day social lives are quite heterogeneous but many of them make a common demand upon us. They require us to understand and interact with other people and, in most social encounters, we exhibit a special sensitivity to our fellow human beings that is quite different from the way we respond to inanimate objects and most other species of organism. Social life is dependent, to a considerable degree, on our ability to understand what is distinctive about human behaviour and to successfully apply that understanding in all manner of situations. What is central to our ability to interpret one another? A great deal of work in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, anthropology, developmental psychology and a host of other disciplines assumes that, at root, interpersonal interpretation is accomplished through the employment of a ‘commonsense’ or ‘folk’ psychology, meaning an ‘everyday’, rather than ‘scientific’, appreciation of mindedness. Although there is considerable debate over which cognitive processes support our folk psychological abilities and how those abilities develop during childhood, there is a remarkable degree of consensus concerning what folk psychology consists of. Almost all discussions of the topic begin by stating or presupposing that it is the ability to attribute intentional states, principally beliefs and desires, to other people and perhaps also to oneself, in order to predict and explain behaviour.


Folk Psychology Intersubjectivity Phenomenology Philosophy of Mind Simulation Theory Theory of Mind cognitive science developmental psychology perception psychology

Editors and affiliations

  • Daniel D. Hutto
    • 1
  • Matthew Ratcliffe
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireU.K
  2. 2.University of DurhamU.K

Bibliographic information