Lecture 013


FIC and Its Strategy

FIC descriptions:

Folk psychology: not necessarily pejorative, accumulation of models from daily life.

Property of FIC descriptions:



statistical syllogism: syllogism with probability

Question: can we ascribe "believes", "desire" (internal state) to a group (entity) ?

Group Believes: does it exists?

Question: what's wrong about interpretivism?

interpretivism: the task is to uncover hidden believes

minimalist theories of mind: a way to ascribe mental state to people

inference to the best explanation (abductive reasoning): a strategy for identifying the right explanation for some set of phenomena by picking the most likely or plausible one from among a range of possible explanations

Yes, there are "methods to evaluate an interpretation"
But your method doesn't say which one is the best if all
my interpretations come form these strategies

Question: are there better way to ascribe internal state than above 2 methods?

Yes. "composite construction": using existing theory (not just black box input and output) built from earlier research


  1. interpretive social science "need[s] special access to people's hidden beliefs and desires" that is different than the kind of access that folk psychology provides. Correct?

I think interpretive social psychologists can ascribe (or, using the phrase of the question, "access") people's hidden beliefs and desires more accurately than a folk psychologist because of a difference in their research methodology. Folk psychology, defined in the paper, uses theories and models generated from daily life activities to deduct the internal states (hidden beliefs and desires) of people (page 1). The author also states that both folk psychologists and well-trained interpretivists use "a combination of environmental and behavioral strategies" to ascribe internal states (page 7). However, since I think interpretive social scientists tend to have more access to "composite-construction" (page 11) than folk psychologists, and that applying the "composite construction strategy" can greatly reduce the number of possible mental states associated with an action in the problem of "inference to the best explanation", interpretive social scientists can more accurately ascribe one's internal state than a folk psychologist due to their methodological difference in research.

  1. inference to the best explanation is not a particularly good strategy, compelling?

Not compelling. He should not argue in this way.

The author reject this minimalist theories of mind by saying that there exists many possible believes for one action, but I think the author's reasoning is not able to deny the methodology.

  1. which specific "under-determination"

    1. I don't know
    1. because we assume there is only one true belief
  2. article by political scientist Lenka Bustikova Bustikova's argument is entirely based on what Bustikova thinks a group of voter believes. This is Bustikova's assumption, or at least Bustikova did not justify this with empirical evidence.

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