Stephen Stich

Stephen Stich is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and author of From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science.

  • The Fragmentation of Reason

    The Fragmentation of Reason

    Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation

    Stephen Stich

    From Descartes to Popper, philosophers have criticized and tried to improve the strategies of reasoning invoked in science and in everyday life. In recent years leading cognitive psychologists have painted a detailed, controversial, and highly critical portrait of common sense reasoning. Stephen Stich begins with a spirited defense of this work and a critique of those writers who argue that widespread irrationality is a biological or conceptual impossibility.Stich then explores the nature of rationality and irrationality: What is it that distinguishes good reasoning from bad? He rejects the most widely accepted approaches to this question approaches which unpack rationality by appeal to truth, to reflective equilibrium or conceptual analysis. The alternative he defends grows out of the pragmatic tradition in which reasoning is viewed as a cognitive tool. Stich's version of pragmatism leads to a radical epistemic relativism and he argues that the widespread abhorrence of relativism is ill founded.

    • Hardcover $38.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science

    The Case against Belief

    Stephen Stich

    The average person has a rich belief system about the thoughts and motives of people. From antiquity to the beginning of this century, Stephen Stich points out, this "folk psychology" was employed in such systematic psychology as there was: "Those who theorized about the mind shared the bulk of their terminology and their conceptual apparatus with poets, critics, historians, economists, and indeed with their own grandmothers."In this book, Stich puts forth the radical thesis that the notions of believing, desiring, thinking, prefering, feeling, imagining, fearing, remembering and many other common-sense concepts that comprise the folk psychological foundations of cognitive psychology should not—and do not—play a significant role in the scientific study of the mind.

    • Hardcover $22.50
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00