Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do naturalists exist?

Not if eliminativism is true.

1. Naturalists are persons who believe that there is nothing other than nature.
2. If eliminativism is true, there are no persons who believe anything.
3. Therefore, there are no persons who believe that only nature exists.
4. Therefore, if eliminativism is true, there are no naturalists.

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At 12/20/2007 08:37:00 AM , Blogger SlagleRock said...

Why not go all the way and say that if eliminativism is true eliminativists don't exist?

At 12/20/2007 12:31:00 PM , Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

This is a joke I hope. I'll assume it isn't just so nobody is foolish enough to buy it.

One, the EM could bite the bullet and say they they are naturalists but that you need to cash out what a naturalist is without using the propositional attitude of belief. They cash it out using their alternative neuronal/linguistic account of what a theory is, as Paul C has outlined at great length in his last three books.

Alternatively, EMers could apply the 'X believes Y' locution but instead of assuming belief is an attitude toward propositions, they could just say belief is a disposition to give assent or whatever, and not let the propositional attitude psychologists co-opt the language of belief.

At 12/22/2007 08:01:00 PM , Blogger Victor Reppert said...

It really is a joke, but strangely enough, Troy Nunley explains why Alvin Plantinga doesn't discuss any eliminativist responses to the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism is because he maintains that eliminativists can't really be naturalists. Which is odd because he's got Bill Ramsey there at UND, who is UCSD product and who is one of the respondents to the EAAN, though without reference to eliminativism.

I have serious doubts as to whether the successors actually successfully succeed, or whether they just change the subject.


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