Churchland explains eliminative materialism and how it supports the idea that Folk Psychology is just a theory that will be eradicated with proper scientific data. In doing so, he says, “Knowledge of other minds thus has no essential dependence on knowledge of one’s own mind” (Churchland 594). I completely agree with this statement and think it is an excellent point in proving the implausibility of Folk Psychology. Conclusions reached by the beliefs of Folk Psychology can hardly be accepted as veritable. Since Folk Psychology, itself is simply a theory, and the integrity of any inferences made based solely on it, will, by extension, also be questioned.
I am in complete agreement with the idea of Folk Psychology being a theory. It seems to be completely empirical. Is there any way to test its soundness? Without measurable data, there is nothing to support the ideas behind Folk Psychology, which is cause enough to denote that it is just a theory and possibly one that is, ultimately false.
Eliminative materialism supports the fact that the existence of Folk Psychology is not real. My question is why anyone believes anything else. What is it about Folk Psychology that allows it to be so vague and lacking but still be widely accepted as though it were scientific fact? There are people who are really in the fact that Folk Psychology gives us legitimate fundamental explanations of behavior. It seems that underlying opinion about Folk Psychology is that while it may not be perfect or 100% true, it’s good enough.
I believe that the scientific method can be applied to all types of problems and situations, so while I don’t think Folk Psychology is adequate enough to be considered science I think it should be approached and analyzed as such. There basically already exists a hypothesis or some belief about it, so why hasn’t anything been tested to try to make this theory a law? It seems as though the commonly attitude about it is that it is, for some reason, useful and should stay around. The view of Realism is that most of it is true. I don’t think it should be allowed to thrive as a philosophical idea if it’s not accurate. What are we gaining from it, if it’s not all the way true?
If you understand better by listening, this video summarizes Churchland’s argument in about 5 minutes. >>> Eliminating Folk Psychology
Paul Churchland’s Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes