Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hiero5ant on Pat Churchland

Hiero5ant wrote:
I heard a talk by Patricia Churchland recently in which she stated that the choice of the term "eliminativist" to describe the early iterations was driven by what the term meant in the philosophical community at the time, and that if she had it to do over she might have preferred the label "revisionary materialism". She cited the essence of the position as coming from an offhand remark from Kant to the effect that "the categories of experience are not given in experience" -- in other words, as any science progresses, folk concepts are abandoned or revised, and it is highly unlikely that the concepts of folk psychology will somehow remain immune to such revisions.

VR: I am somewhat surprised by this, because it seems to abandon eliminativism. the Churchlands themselves distinguish between elimination and revision. Is it possible that the king and queen of neurophilosophy are not of one accord in this matter?


At 1/10/2007 11:57:00 AM , Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

They discuss this terminological issue in Churchlands and their Critics, and they are still eliminativists. 'Revisionary' is better because it more explicitly conveys that radical elimination and seamless reduction are two ends of a pole. But they both think that propositional attitude psychology is fundamentally wrong, that internal symbolic processing is not performed by the nervous system.

At 1/10/2007 12:27:00 PM , Blogger Victor Reppert said...

Is this the book entitled "On the Contrary?"

At 1/10/2007 09:12:00 PM , Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Nope. That's another one. It's called "Churchland's and Their Critics", which includes a bunch of people with essays criticizing them, and their response.


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