Suing for Peace in the War Against Mentalism

Suing for Peace in the War Against Mentalism Perspect Behav Sci https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-018-0169-2 1 2 José E. Burgos & Peter R. Killeen Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018 Abstract The antimentalists’ war against mentalism has not vanquished it. To examine why, we focus on two theses—mind as causal and internal—and three standard attacks against mentalism as defined by both theses: 1) mentalism implies dualism; 2) mind is unobservable, which hinders its scientific study; and 3) mentalism is impractical. These salients fail because: 1) if the mind is causal and internal, it must be material; 2) the observable/unobservable distinction is too problematic, with antimentalists equivocal about where to draw that line, with some even embracing publicly unobservable behavior as causally relevant; and 3) mentalism has not been demonstrated to be less practical than antimentalism. For the war on mentalism to succeed, stronger attacks must be devised, both scientific and philosophical. We contemplate some possibilities, while expressing doubts as to the wisdom of continuing the war. Peace may be better than war, and the resulting intellectual commerce may be good for both sides. . . . . Keywords Mentalism Mental inner causation Antimentalism Behavior analysis . . . Behaviorism Dualism Observability Pragmatism An academic discipline is a group of scholars http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Behavior Analyst Springer Journals

Suing for Peace in the War Against Mentalism

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Association for Behavior Analysis International
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general
ISSN
0738-6729
eISSN
2520-8977
D.O.I.
10.1007/s40614-018-0169-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Perspect Behav Sci https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-018-0169-2 1 2 José E. Burgos & Peter R. Killeen Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018 Abstract The antimentalists’ war against mentalism has not vanquished it. To examine why, we focus on two theses—mind as causal and internal—and three standard attacks against mentalism as defined by both theses: 1) mentalism implies dualism; 2) mind is unobservable, which hinders its scientific study; and 3) mentalism is impractical. These salients fail because: 1) if the mind is causal and internal, it must be material; 2) the observable/unobservable distinction is too problematic, with antimentalists equivocal about where to draw that line, with some even embracing publicly unobservable behavior as causally relevant; and 3) mentalism has not been demonstrated to be less practical than antimentalism. For the war on mentalism to succeed, stronger attacks must be devised, both scientific and philosophical. We contemplate some possibilities, while expressing doubts as to the wisdom of continuing the war. Peace may be better than war, and the resulting intellectual commerce may be good for both sides. . . . . Keywords Mentalism Mental inner causation Antimentalism Behavior analysis . . . Behaviorism Dualism Observability Pragmatism An academic discipline is a group of scholars

Journal

The Behavior AnalystSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 4, 2018

References

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