University of Hertfordshire

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Limited engagements and narrative extensions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • D. Hutto
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-444
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2008


E-approaches to the mind stress the embodied, embedded and enactive nature of mental phenomena. In their more radical, non-representational variants these approaches offer innovative and powerful new ways of understanding fundamental modes of intersubjective social interaction: I-approaches. While promising, E and I accounts have natural limits. In particular, they are unable to explain human competence in making sense of reasons for actions in folkpsychological terms. In this paper I outline the core features of the ‘Narrative Practice Hypothesis’ (NPH), showing how it might take up that burden in a way which complements non-representationalist E and I accounts. I conclude by addressing a new-order eliminativist challenge from Ratcliffe that questions, inter alia , the very idea that there is anything like a well-defined folkpsychological competence that needs explaining, thereby rendering the NPH otiose. Additionally, I respond to Ratcliffe’s claim that the relevant structures needed for the development of that competence do not reveal themselves in relevant narratives, rendering the NPH’s developmental story impossible.


The original article can be found at: Copyright Taylor and Francis [Full text of this article is not available in the UHRA]

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