more from Jaegwon Kim

Single Idea 3372

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique]

Full Idea

The factors that determine exactly what you are doing when you produce a physical gesture include the customs, habits and conventions that are in force, so it is unlikely that anyone could produce correct behavioural definitions of mental terms.

Gist of Idea

Behaviour is determined by society as well as mental states


Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 36)

Book Reference

Kim,Jaegwon: 'Philosophy of Mind' [Westview 1998], p.36

A Reaction

This problem can be added to the problem that it is hard to specify behaviour without reference to mentalistic terms. The point is clearly right, as what I am doing when I wave my hand in the air will depend on all sorts of conventions and expectations.