This paper argues that our folk-psychological expertise is a special case of extended and enculturated cognition where we learn to regulate both our own and others’ thought and action in accord with a wide array of culturally shaped folk-psychological norms. The view has three noteworthy features: (1) it challenges a common assumption that the foundational capacity at work in folk-psychological expertise is one of interpreting behaviour in mentalistic terms (mindreading), arguing instead that successful mindreading is largely a consequence of successful mindshaping; (2) it argues that our folk-psychological expertise is not only socially scaffolded in development, it continues to be socially supported and maintained in maturity, thereby presenting a radically different picture of what mature folk-psychological competency amounts to; (3) it provides grounds for resisting a recent trend in theoretical explanations of quotidian social interaction that downplays the deployment of sophisticated mentalizing resources in understanding what others are doing.
In The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle argued that a more sophisticated understanding of the dispositional nature of ‘intelligent capacities’ could bolster philosophical resistance to the tempting view that the human mind is possessed of metaphysically ‘occult’ powers and properties. This temptation is powerful in the context of accounting for the special qualities of responsible agency. Incompatibilists indulge the temptation; compatibilists resist it, using a variety of strategies. One recent strategy, reminiscent of Ryle’s, is to exploit a more sophisticated understanding of dispositional properties to account for these qualities. But ‘new dispositionalists’ run up against a ‘hard problem’ that threatens the approach. This paper argues that the threat may be averted by embracing a yet more radical ‘Rylean’ view of the distinctive dispositional nature of intelligent capacities.
This paper examines the methodological claim made famous by P. F. Strawson: that we understand what features are required for responsible agency by exploring our attitudes and practices of holding responsible. What is the presumed metaphysical connection between holding responsible and being fit to be held responsible that makes this claim credible? I propose a non-standard answer to this question, arguing for a view of responsible agency that is neither antirealist nor straightforwardly realist. It is instead “constructivist.” On the “Scaffolding View” I defend, reactive attitudes play an essential role in developing, supporting, and thereby maintaining the capacities that make for responsible agency. Although this view has relatively novel implications for a metaphysical understanding of capacities, its chief virtue, in contrast with more standard views, is in providing a plausible defense of why so-called “responsible agents” genuinely deserve to be treated as such.
"view” of folk-psychology as against the “standard view” (encompassing both theory- theory and simulation theory, as well as hybrid variations). On the regulative view, folk-psychology is conceptualized in fundamentally interpersonal terms as a “mind- making” practice through which we come to form and regulate our minds in accordance with a rich array of socially shared and socially maintained sense-making norms. It is not, as the standard view maintains, simply an epistemic capacity for coming to know about the mental states and dispositions already there. Importantly, the regulative view can meet and beat the standard at its own epistemic game. But it also does more. In Section 2, I show how the regulative view makes progress on two other problems that remain puzzling on the standard view: (1) the problem of “ﬁrst- person authority” – accounting for the special features of self-knowledge; and (2) the problem of “reactive responsiveness” – accounting for our deep concern with calling"
"one another to account for normatively untoward behaviour, both generally and in the moral domain.
This paper examines developing trust in two related senses: (1) rationally overcoming distrust, and (2) developing a mature capacity for trusting/distrusting. In focussing exclusively on the first problem, traditional philosophical discussions fail to address how an evidence-based paradigm of rationality is easily co-opted by (immature) agents in support of irrational distrust (or trust) – a manifestation of the second problem. Well-regulated trust requires developing a capacity to tolerate the uncertainties that chracterise relationships among fully autonomous self-directed agents. Early relationships lack this uncertainty since car-givers take primary responsibility for determining a child’s interests, reducing the scope (if not the intensity) of potential conflict between self and other. Once agents recognize that adulthood demands foregoing the security embedded in such relationships of dependency, they are free to embrace a more appropriate paradigm of rationality for guiding their thought and action in interactions with others.