The Critics Speak Against Mentalism
Mentalist approaches to scientific psychology have had a pervasive persistence that is remarkable. The reasons for their endurance are not too difficult to understand. Mentalist concepts permeate all societies for no more subtle reason than the firsthand evidence that each human being has of their own personal consciousness. Mentalist terminology and concepts are explicit in all human languages and most popular notions of one’s personal existence and meaning. It is virtually impossible for humans to speak to each other without using mentalist terms. It is this very uniformity and commonality of meaning that binds us together and that transcends any differences in regional vocabulary or local variations in syntax. Our literature, our therapies (both medical and psychological), our commerce, our religions, in fact all aspects of our lives are expressed in the terms of personal awarenesses, experiences, and perceptions, of cognitive decision making, of emotions and feelings, and of a consensual acceptance of the existence of each individual’s mind.