The Folk Psychology of Consciousness

Adam Arico, Brian Fiala, Robert F. Goldberg, Shaun Nichols

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter addresses the idea of consciousness as a personal matter, something that cannot be publicly acknowledged. Philosophers are baffled by the fact that human beings tend to ascribe conscious states to other creatures, prompting them to develop various theories in an attempt to explain this phenomenon. John Stuart Mill was among these speculators and his analogical theory is discussed in this chapter, along with Susan Johnson and her colleagues' study of the intrinsic processes of the attribution of a mind to an individual. It also looks at the so-called Agency model; a theory derived from developmental psychology which explains what causes man to think that other creatures possess conscious states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperimental Philosophy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190267698
ISBN (Print)9780199927418
StatePublished - Jan 16 2014


  • Agency model
  • Analogical theory
  • Conscious states
  • Consciousness
  • Human consciousness
  • John stuart mill
  • Susan johnson

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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