Marco Brigaglia

Normative Guidance and Theory of Mind

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Normative Guidance; Normativity; Mind; Folk Psychology; Eliminativism.

Normative guidance is a way of influencing others' behaviour which operates through the mind (through mental states and processes such as norm understanding, normative reasoning, belief in norm's validity, choice to follow it, etc.). Knowledge of the relevant aspects of the mind has therefore a clear importance in order to improve normative guidance (increase its efficacy, rationalize it, moralize it, etc.). But the study of the relationship between mind and normativity is a too wide field, impossible to explore in its entirety: selection criteria are needed. In this article I propose some contributions to their elaboration. First, I point out the «phenomenon of normativity» (meant as the conscious experience of norms) as the general scope of the theories of mind relevant for normative guidance, offering a rough sketch of it. Second, I show how, inside this general scope, the theories of mind preferable for the purposes of normative guidance are not necessarily the best one from a scientific point of view. Thirdly, I explore in this light the possible relevance of "Eliminativism", i.e. the thesis, discussed in the philosophy of mind, that folk psychology concepts, such as propositional attitudes, misrepresent the mind, and that theories of mind built on the folk psychology framework are therefore bad scientific theories to be given up in favour of theories framed with totally different concepts, which could be provided by the neurosciences.

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