SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Cognitive Ontologies and the Status of Folk Psychology
(Philosophy of Mind, )

A Folk psychology, understood as our commonsense understanding of the mental, was a prominent topic of philosophy of mind in the 1980s and 90s. The focus main of the debates about folk psychology at this time was the question of its status in relation to the scientific study of mind: How does folk psychology hold up against scientific explanations of mind? Are the commonsense psychological terms and concepts we use every day to be eliminated or vindicated by neuroscience? Is the ontology of folk psychology to be replaced by a more empirically grounded one? The question of folk psychology's status has lost its prominence since the 80s and has been replaced by other concerns regarding folk psychology. However, the question of status has seen a revival in recent years in the debate about cognitive ontologies in cognitive science and neuroscience. The cognitive ontologies debate focuses on a development of formal ontologies for the study of mind-brain in neuroimaging. It also examines the relation of commonsense cognitive ontologies and scientific ontologies and the role the first play in the latter. Similarly to the debates in the 80s and 90s, these considerations lead many authors to calls for elimination of folk psychology from science or to attempts to defend it. The talk is going to introduce the cognitive ontologies debate and examine how and in what ways it renews and reexamines the old debate concerning the status of folk psychology. It is going to examine how and in what ways the cognitive ontology debate reopens the issues of folk psychology's status and what lessons it could draw from the older debates. It is also going to examine the potential consequences of the cognitive ontologies debate on the issue of folk psychology's status.

Chair: Agnieszka Proszewska
Time: 16:00-16:30, 11 September 2021 (Saturday)
Location: SR 1.003

Matej Drazil 
(Palacky University Olomouc, )

Testability and Meaning deco