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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 11, 1985

Natika Newton
Pages 407-429

Acting and Perceiving in Body and Mind

In this paper I sketch an account of (a) the origin of the terms and concepts of folk psychology, and (b) the true nature of mental states. I argue that folk psychology is built on metaphors for the functioning physical body, and that mental states are neurological traces which serve as schematic ‘mental images’ of those same functions. Special attention is paid to the folk psychology of self-consciousness. In particular, I argue that the notion of introspection is mistaken, and I criticize recent claims of Patricia and Paul Churchland on this subject. I conclude by discussing recent empirical evidence in support of my approach.

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