Colossal nasal bridge FAS victim discourses on philosophical naturalism

2 posts

Bob Dylan Roof
Arcturus ; Xenophon ; Kirillov


This is actually a decent discussion of philosophical naturalism, but the pic is too bizarre to go without comment.

tl;dr below

Patricia and Paul Churchland are famous proponents of eliminative materialism, a theory that maintains, roughly, that our folk-psychology concepts like "belief", "intent", "desire", etc. will be eliminated by empirical science in the same way that the use of folk-psychological concepts employed to describe the behavior of other natural phenomena (the seas are "angry" etc.) were presumably eliminated by advances in observation and rational thought.

There's a Skinnerian anecdote that the Churchlands attempted to raise their children without reference to folk-psychological concepts. I assume that if it's true at all, it's exaggerated to a great degree. I have no idea how such an upbringing would even function..."stop involuntarily reacting to external and internal stimuli or you can't sleep over at your friend's house"...

Incidentally, I think something closer to Dennett's stance (the Intentional Stance (TM)) is true. Even though there are likely superior natural explanations for phenomena described by folk-psychology, the feasibility of eliminating the language from even our scientific vocabulary is unlikely. An interesting aside is that Aristotle first introduced this approach 2,000 years ago.

Commence verbal fellatio

She gives a decent overview of the problems of conceptual analysis and the early linguistic turn. Veterans of the RACE DOESN'T EXIST and THE LAW IS THE PURE TEXT OF THE CONSTITUTION wars will recognize familiar themes:

But she's also a logic/metaphysics noob:

A causal theory of reference does not tell us how people use words. It speaks to the possible ways that words can be said to acquire meaning. For example, many people can ascribe different meanings to a given word or concept, but there are a set of underlying facts (metaphysical truths?) that govern the range of meaning that could be ascribed to the word or concept.

Her current interests...

Mind-Brain relationship

On consciousness/qualia

I'm not sure she adequately responds to Chalmers [​IMG] here. Chalmers's "zombie" arguments are more sophisticated revisions of earlier arguments made about consciousness that aren't mere "predictions" based on our present knowledge. Philosophers have long pointed to the limitations imposed by the nature of consciousness on empirical science, especially with respect to the mind itself, at least since Kant.

On free will and time preference!!!

The interviewer ropes her project in with the bastardized "Nietzschean naturalism" of the anglosphere...

Some realism on moral philosophy in the academy today:

On religion

The rest is persiflage about sexism in philosophy and politics.

I first heard of Churchland in this New Atlantis piece . One obnoxious quotation has stuck with me: