Monday, April 17, 2006

The definition of eliminative materialism

This is from the founding essay on eliminative materialism "Eliminative Materialism and Propositional Attitudes, by Paul Churchland, from Journal of Philosophy 78 no. 2 (1981)

"Eliminative materialism is the thesis that our commonsense conception of psychological phenomena constitutes a radically false theory, a theory so fundamentally defective that both the principles and the ontology of that theory will eventually be displaced, rather than merely reduced, by completed neuroscience."

Here the idea that folk psychology is a theory is built right into the definition of eliminative materialism. Has anything been written since to suggest that this claim that folk psychology is a theory should be written into the definition of EM?


Blue Devil Knight said...

See this discussion of the topic.

Churchland, passim, discusses the criticism that we know folk psychology is true by inspection (that was the view that Sellars criticised).

Blue Devil Knight said...

And this.

Victor Reppert said...

In short, the definition seems to be holding up. Good. I'm glad we agree on that.

You might be interested in my exchange with Bill Ramsey (the author of the Stanford entry) in Inquiry. Surprisingly, he mentions one of my published eliminativism papers, but not my reply to him.