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2.1c. Eliminativism about Propositional Attitudes (Eliminativism about Propositional Attitudes on PhilPapers)

See also:
Berm, (2006). Arguing for eliminativism. In Brian L Keeley (ed.), Paul Churchland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Bertolet, Rod (1994). Saving eliminativism. Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):87-100.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: This paper contests Lynne Rudder Baker's claim to have shown that eliminative materialism is bound to fail on purely conceptual grounds. It is argued that Baker's position depends on knowing that certain developments in science cannot occur, and that we cannot know that this is so. Consequently, the sort of argument Baker provides is question-begging. For similar reasons, the confidence that the proponents of eliminative materialism have in it is misplaced
Bickle, John (1992). Revisionary physicalism. Biology and Philosophy 7 (4):411-30.   (Cited by 12 | Annotation | Google | More links)
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Bogdan, Radu J. (1988). Mental attitudes and common sense psychology: The case against elimination. Noûs 22 (September):369-398.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Aside from brute force, there are several philosophically respectable ways of eliminating the mental. In recent years the most popular elimination strategy has been directed against our common sense or folk psychological understanding of the mental. The strategy goes by the name of eliminative materialism (or eliminativism, in short). The motivation behind this strategy seems to be the following. If common sense psychology can be construed as the principled theory of the mental, whose vocabulary and principles implicitly define what counts as mental, then eliminating the theory is eliminating its subject matter. If the theory is shown to be false, then its subject matter does not exist. If, in other words, common sense psychology can be shown to describe and explain nothing real in human cognition, then the mental itself is a fiction
Campbell, Keith (1993). What motivates eliminativism? Mind and Language 8 (2):206-210.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
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Churchland, Paul M. (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.   (Cited by 465 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: A Neurocomputationial Perspective illustrates the fertility of the concepts and data drawn from the study of the brain and of artificial networks that model the...
Churchland, Paul M. (1981). Eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.   (Cited by 488 | Google | More links)
Churchland, Paul M. (1993). Evaluating our self-conception. Mind and Language 8 (2):211-22.   (Cited by 13 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Churchland, Patricia S. (1980). Language, thought, and information processing. Noûs 14 (May):147-70.   (Cited by 16 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Churchland, Paul M. (1985). On the speculative nature of our self-conception. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11:157-173.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (2007). The evolving fortunes of eliminative materialism. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1993). Theory, taxonomy, and methodology: A reply to Haldane's Understanding Folk. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 67:313-19.   (Annotation | Google)
Clark, Andy (1996). Dealing in futures: Folk psychology and the role of representations in cognitive science. In Robert N. McCauley (ed.), The Churchlands and Their Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Clark, Andy (1993). The varieties of eliminativism: Sentential, intentional and catastrophic. Mind and Language 8 (2):223-233.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Cling, Andrew (1990). Disappearance and knowledge. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):226-47.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Cling, Andrew (1989). Eliminative materialism and self-referential inconsistency. Philosophical Studies 56 (May):53-75.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Cling, Andrew (1991). The empirical virtues of belief. Philosophical Psychology 4:303-23.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Foss, Jeffrey E. (1985). A materialist's misgivings about eliminative materialism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11:105-33.   (Annotation | Google)
Fricker, Elizabeth (1993). The threat of eliminativism. Mind and Language 8 (2):253-281.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Garzon, Francisco Calvo (2001). Can we turn a blind eye to eliminativism? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (4):485-498.   (Google)
Gibson, Roger (1995). A note on Boghossian's master argument. In Contents. Atascadero: Ridgeview.   (Google | More links)
Graham, George & Horgan, Terence E. (1994). Southern fundamentalism and the end of philosophy. Philosophical Issues 5:219-247.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Greenwood, John D. (1992). Against eliminative materialism: From folk psychology to volkerpsychologie. Philosophical Psychology 5 (4):349-68.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Abstract: In this paper it is argued that we would not be logically obliged or rationally inclined to reject the ontology of contentful psychological states postulated by folk psychology even if the explanations advanced by folk psychology turned out to be generally inaccurate or inadequate. Moreover, it is argued that eliminativists such as Paul Churchland do not establish that folk psychological explanations are, or are likely to prove, generally inaccurate or inadequate. Most of Churchland's arguments—based upon developments within connectionist neuroscience—only cast doubt upon the adequacy of 'sentential' theories of cognitive processing, not upon scientifically developed forms of folk psychological explanation of behavior, such as those offered by contemporary social psychology. Finally, it is noted that Churchland's brand of eliminativism rests upon a crude reductive criterion of theoretical adequacy that has little to recommend it, and suggested that the recognized theoretical limitations of contemporary social psychology may be precisely due to its historical commitment to this reductive criterion
Greenwood, John D. (1991). Reasons to believe. In John D. Greenwood (ed.), The Future of Folk Psychology. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 8 | Annotation | Google)
Haldane, John J. (1993). Theory, realism and common sense: A reply to Paul Churchland. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93:321-327.   (Google)
Haldane, John J. (1988). Understanding folk. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 62:222-46.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hannan, Barbara (1993). Don't stop believing: The case against eliminative materialism. Mind and Language 8 (2):165-179.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hannan, Barbara (1990). `Non-scientific realism' about propositional attitudes as a response to eliminativist arguments. Behavior and Philosophy 18:21-31.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Henderson, David K. & Horgan, Terence E. (2004). What does it take to be a true believer?: Against the opulent ideology of eliminative materialism. In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (eds.), Mind As a Scientific Object. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Henderson, David & Horgan, Terry (2004). What does it take to be a true believer? In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (eds.), Mind As a Scientific Object: Between Brain and Culture. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Eliminative materialism, as William Lycan (this volume) tells us, is materialism plus the claim that no creature has ever had a belief, desire, intention, hope, wish, or other “folk-psychological” state. Some contemporary philosophers claim that eliminative materialism is very likely true. They sketch certain potential scenarios, for the way theory might develop in cognitive science and neuroscience, that they claim are fairly likely; and they maintain that if such
Hermes, Charles M. (2006). The overdetermination argument against eliminativism. Southwest Philosophy Review 22 (1):113-119.   (Google)
Horgan, Terence E. (1987). Cognition is real. Behaviorism 15:13-25.   (Google)
Horst, Steven (1995). Eliminativism and the ambiguity of `belief'. Synthese 104 (1):123-45.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. & Woodward, James F. (1985). Folk psychology is here to stay. Philosophical Review 94 (April):197-225.   (Cited by 51 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. & Graham, George (1991). In defense of southern fundamentalism. Philosophical Studies 62 (May):107-134.   (Cited by 16 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. (1993). The austere ideology of folk psychology. Mind and Language 8 (2):282-297.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. & Henderson, David K. (2005). What does it take to be a true believer? Against the opulent ideology of eliminative materialism. In Christina E. Erneling & D. Johnson (eds.), Mind As a Scientific Object. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Hunter, Geoffrey (1995). The churchlands' eliminative materialism. Philosophical Investigations 18 (1):13-30.   (Google)
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1993). Folk belief and commonplace belief. Mind and Language 8 (2):298-305.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1990). In defense of folk psychology. Philosophical Studies 59 (1):31-54.   (Cited by 32 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: It turned out that there was no phlogiston, no caloric fluid, and no luminiferous ether. Might it turn out that there are no beliefs and desires? Patricia and Paul Churchland say yes} We say no. In part one we give our positive argument for the existence of beliefs and desires
Keeley, Brian L. (2006). Paul Churchland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This collection offers an introduction to Churchland's work, as well as a critique of some of his most famous philosophical positions.
Kincaid, Harold (1990). Eliminativism and methodological individualism. Philosophy of Science 57 (1):141-148.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Kitcher, P. S. (1984). In defense of intentional psychology. Journal of Philosophy 81 (February):89-106.   (Cited by 13 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Lahav, Ran (1992). The amazing predictive power of folk psychology. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (1):99-105.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Livingston, Kenneth R. (1996). The neurocomputational mind meets normative epistemology. Philosophical Psychology 9 (1):33-59.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: The rapid development of connectionist models in computer science and of powerful computational tools in neuroscience has encouraged eliminativist materialist philosophers to propose specific alternatives to traditional mentalistic theories of mind. One of the problems associated with such a move is that elimination of the mental would seem to remove access to ideas like truth as the foundations of normative epistemology. Thus, a successful elimination of propositional or sentential theories of mind must not only replace them for purposes of our psychology, it must also replace them for purposes of the evaluation of our theories and explanations, psychological and otherwise. This paper briefly reviews eliminativist arguments for doubting the correctness of sentential accounts of explanation, understanding, and normative evaluation. It then considers Paul Churchland's (1989) proposed alternative norms, which are framed neurocomputationally. The alternative is found wanting in several specific ways. The arguments for eliminating propositionally-based norms are then re-examined and it is suggested that the need for wholesale elimination is overstated. A clear gap in the traditional epistemological story is identified, however, and a more modest set of norms is proposed as a way of filling this gap, rather than as a way of entirely replacing the traditional framework
Lockie, Robert (2003). Transcendental arguments against eliminativism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):569-589.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Eliminativism was targeted by transcendental arguments from the first. Three responses to these arguments have emerged from the eliminativist literature, the heart of which is that such arguments are question-begging. These responses are shown to be incompatible with the position, eliminativism, they are meant to defend. Out of these failed responses is developed a general transcendental argument against eliminativism (the "Paradox of Abandonment"). Eliminativists have anticipated this argument, but their six different attempts to counter it are shown to be separately inadequate, mutually incompatible, and, again, incompatible with the position that they are seeking to defend.
Lycan, William G. (2005). A particularly compelling refutation of eliminative materialism. In D. M. Johnson & C. E. Erneling (eds.), The Mind As a Scientific Object: Between Brain and Culture. Oup.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The 1960s saw heated discussion of Eliminative Materialism in regard to sensations and their phenomenal features. Thus directed, Eliminative Materialism is materialism or physicalism plus the distinctive and truly radical thesis that there have never occurred any sensations; no one has ever experienced a sensation. This view attracted few adherents(!), though to this day some philosophers are Eliminativists with respect to various alleged phenomenal features of sensations
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Melnyk, Andrew (1996). Testament of a recovering eliminativist. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):S185-S193.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Nelson, Mark T. (1991). Eliminative materialism and substantive commitments. International Philosophical Quarterly (March) 39 (March):39-49.   (Google)
O'Brien, Gerard (1987). Eliminative materialism and our psychological self-knowledge. Philosophical Studies 52 (July):49-70.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Philipse, Herman (1998). Shifting position? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):885-892.   (Google | More links)
Philipse, Herman (1997). The end of plasticity. Inquiry 40 (3):291-306.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Paul Churchland has become famous for holding three controversial and interrelated doctrines which he put forward in early papers and in his first book. Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind (1979): eliminative materialism, the doctrine of the plasticity of perception, and a general network theory of language. In his latest book, The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul (1995), Churchland aims to make some results of connectionist neuroscience available to the general public and explores the philosophical and social consequences that neuroscience is likely to have. I argue that these results of neuroscience refute the three doctrines that Churchland advocated in his earlier works. Yet youthful dreams do not die easily and Churchland is reluctant to relinquish his early views
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Abstract: Paul Churchland's epistemology contains a tension between two positions, which I will call pragmatic pluralism and eliminative materialism. Pragmatic pluralism became predominant as Churchland's epistemology became more neurocomputationally inspired, which saved him from the skepticism implicit in certain passages of the theory of reduction he outlined in Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. However, once he replaces eliminativism with a neurologically inspired pragmatic pluralism, Churchland 1) cannot claim that folk psychology might be a false theory, in any significant sense 2) cannot claim that the concepts of Folk psychology might be empty of extension and lack reference. 3) cannot sustain Churchland's criticism of Dennett's "intentional stance" . 4) cannot claim to be a form of scientific realism, in the sense of believing that what science describes is somehow realer that what other conceptual systems describe
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Abstract: The doctrine of eliminative materialism holds that belief-desire psychology is massively referentially disconnected. We claim, however, that it is not at all obvious what it means to be referentially (dis)connected. The two major accounts of reference both lead to serious difficulties for eliminativism: it seems that elimination is either impossible or omnipresent. We explore the idea that reference fixation is a much more local, partial, and context-dependent process than was supposed by the classical accounts. This pragmatic view suggests that elimination is not the prime model for understanding the complex relations between the mind and brain sciences, and that we have little ground for concluding that in general psychological kinds do not exist. We suggest that reference changes are better seen as continuous rather than completely eliminative
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Abstract: Over the last two decades, debates over the viability of commonsense psychology have been center stage in both cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Eliminativists have argued that advances in cognitive science and neuroscience will ultimately justify a rejection of our "folk" theory of the mind, and of its ontology. In the first half of this book Stich, who was at one time a leading advocate of eliminativism, maintains that even if the sciences develop in the ways that eliminativists foresee, none of the arguments for ontological elimination are tenable. Rather than being resolved by science, he contends, these ontological disputes will be settled by a pragmatic process in which social and political considerations have a major role to play. In later chapters, Stich argues that the widespread worry about "naturalizing" psychological properties is deeply confused, since there is no plausible account of what naturalizing requires on which the failure of the naturalization project would lead to eliminativism. He also offers a detailed analysis of the many different notions of folk psychology to be found in philosophy and psychology, and argues that simulation theory, which purports to be an alternative to folk psychology, is not supported by recent experimental findings
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Abstract: Of course, I do not mean by the title of this paper to deny the existence of something called
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Abstract: This paper examines and rejects some purported refutations of eliminative materialism in the philosophy of mind: a quasi-transcendental argument due to Jackson and Pettit (1990) to the effect that folk psychology is “peculiarly unlikely” to be radically revised or eliminated in light of the developments of cognitive science and neuroscience; and (b) certain straight-out transcendental arguments to the effect that eliminativism is somehow incoherent (Baker, 1987; Boghossian, 1990). It begins by clarifying the exact topology of the dialectical space in which debates between eliminativist and anti-eliminativist ought to be framed. I claim that both proponents and opponents of eliminativism have been insufficiently attentive to the range of dialectical possibilities. Consequently, the debate has not, in fact, been framed within the correct dialectical setting. I then go onto to show how inattentiveness to the range of dialectical possibilities undermines both transcendental and quasi-transcendental arguments against eliminativism. In particular, I argue that the quasi-transcendentalist overestimates the degree to which folk psychology can be insulated from the advance of neuroscience and cognitive science just in virtue of being a functional theory. I argue further that transcendental arguments are fallacious and do not succeed against even the strongest possible form of eliminativism. Finally, I argue that that transcendental arguments are irrelevant. Even if such arguments do succeed against a certain'very strong form of eliminativism, they remain complete non-starters against certain weaker forms of eliminativism. And I argue that if any of these weaker forms is true, folk psychology is in trouble enough to vindicate Paul Ckurchland's claim that our common sense psychological framework is “a radically false and misleading conception of the causes of human behavior and the nature of cognitive activity”
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