Paul M. Churchland on Looking in the Mirror
This conceptual framework is the unquestioned possession of every normal human who wasn't raised from birth by wolves. It is the template of our normal socialization as children; it is the primary vehicle of our social and psychological commerce as adults; and it forms the background matrix for our current moral and legal discussions. It is often called "folk psychology" by philosophers, not as a term of derision, but to acknowledge it as the basic descriptive and explanatory conceptual framework with which all of us currently comprehend the behavior and mental life of our fellow humans, and of ourselves.
Suddenly we are looking in a mirror. Not into the distant heavens nor down the halls of evolutionary time nor into the teeming microworld, but squarely at ourselves. Is our basic conception of human cognition and agency yet another myth, moderately useful in the past perhaps, yet false at edge or core? Will a proper theory of brain function present a significantly different or incompatible portrait of human nature? Should we prepare ourselves, emotionally, for yet another conceptual revolution, one that will touch us more closely than ever before?