Autonomous Psychology and the Belief-Desire Thesis
Stich (Stephen)
Source: Rosenthal - The Nature of Mind
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Philosophers Index Abstract

    The "belief-desire thesis" is the claim that states invoked in an explanatory psychological theory will include beliefs and desires. The "principle of autonomous psychology" is the claim that states invoked in an explanatory psychological theory must supervene1 upon current, internal physical states. A more informal way of stating the autonomy principle is this: organisms which are physical replicas of each other will be indistinguishable from the point of view of explanatory psychology. The paper argues that there is an incompatibility between the belief-desire thesis and the principle of autonomous psychology.

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