PROPOSITIONAL ATTITUDES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION (MIND, MENTAL).

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/188053
Title:
PROPOSITIONAL ATTITUDES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION (MIND, MENTAL).
Author:
QUILLEN, KEITH RAYMOND.
Issue Date:
1985
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Propositional attitudes, states like believing, desiring, intending, etc., have played a central role in the articulation of many of our major theories, both in philosophy and the social sciences. Until relatively recently, psychology was a prominent entry on the list of social sciences in which propositional attitudes occupied center stage. In this century, though, behaviorists began to make a self-conscious effort to expunge "mentalistic" notions from their theorizing. Behaviorism has failed. Psychology therefore is again experiencing "formative years," and two themes have caught the interest of philosophers. The first is that psychological theories evidently must exploit a vast array of relations obtaining among internal states. The second is that the use of mentalistic idioms seems to be explicit again in much of current theorizing. These two observations have led philosophers to wonder about the probable as well as the proper role of propositional attitudes in future psychological theories. Some philosophers wonder, in particular, about the role of the contents of propositional attitudes in the forthcoming theories. Their strategy is in part to discern what sorts of theory psychologists now will want to construct, and then discern what role propositional attitude contents might play in theories of those sorts. I consider here two sorts of theory, what I call minimal functional theories and what is known as propositional attitude psychology. I outline these two kinds of theory, and show how each defines a role for contents. Contents are ultimately eliminable in minimal functional theories. Although they play an apparently ineliminable role in propositional attitude psychology, they do so at an apparent cost. Propositional attitude psychology does not seem to accommodate a certain methodological principle, a principle of individualism in psychology, which is endorsed even by some of the philosophers most enamored of the approach. Such philosophers have two options: they can attempt to show that the conflict between the approach and the principle is not genuine, or they can reject the principle. I argue that the conflict is real, and recommend a qualified rejections of the principle.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Attitude (Psychology); Psychology -- Philosophy.; Proposition (Logic)
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Philosophy; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schiffer, Stephen

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titlePROPOSITIONAL ATTITUDES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION (MIND, MENTAL).en_US
dc.creatorQUILLEN, KEITH RAYMOND.en_US
dc.contributor.authorQUILLEN, KEITH RAYMOND.en_US
dc.date.issued1985en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractPropositional attitudes, states like believing, desiring, intending, etc., have played a central role in the articulation of many of our major theories, both in philosophy and the social sciences. Until relatively recently, psychology was a prominent entry on the list of social sciences in which propositional attitudes occupied center stage. In this century, though, behaviorists began to make a self-conscious effort to expunge "mentalistic" notions from their theorizing. Behaviorism has failed. Psychology therefore is again experiencing "formative years," and two themes have caught the interest of philosophers. The first is that psychological theories evidently must exploit a vast array of relations obtaining among internal states. The second is that the use of mentalistic idioms seems to be explicit again in much of current theorizing. These two observations have led philosophers to wonder about the probable as well as the proper role of propositional attitudes in future psychological theories. Some philosophers wonder, in particular, about the role of the contents of propositional attitudes in the forthcoming theories. Their strategy is in part to discern what sorts of theory psychologists now will want to construct, and then discern what role propositional attitude contents might play in theories of those sorts. I consider here two sorts of theory, what I call minimal functional theories and what is known as propositional attitude psychology. I outline these two kinds of theory, and show how each defines a role for contents. Contents are ultimately eliminable in minimal functional theories. Although they play an apparently ineliminable role in propositional attitude psychology, they do so at an apparent cost. Propositional attitude psychology does not seem to accommodate a certain methodological principle, a principle of individualism in psychology, which is endorsed even by some of the philosophers most enamored of the approach. Such philosophers have two options: they can attempt to show that the conflict between the approach and the principle is not genuine, or they can reject the principle. I argue that the conflict is real, and recommend a qualified rejections of the principle.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectAttitude (Psychology)en_US
dc.subjectPsychology -- Philosophy.en_US
dc.subjectProposition (Logic)en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchiffer, Stephenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPollock, John L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarnish, Robert M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberByerly, Henryen_US
dc.identifier.proquest8526319en_US
dc.identifier.oclc696633700en_US
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