Eliminative materialism

In philosophy, eliminative materialism is a type of materialism that denies the existence of specific types of folklore-based mental states or rather is a materialism philosophy that aims to "eliminate" or displace baseless common sense psychology conceptions.

The term “eliminative materialism” was introduced in American philosopher James Cornman’s 1968 article “On the Elimination of ‘Sensations’ and Sensations”—written as a response to American philosopher Richard Rorty’s 1965 article “Mind-Body Identity, Privacy, and Categories”—the truncated abstract gist of which is as follows: [1]

“It seems that science is advancing towards a state where physics will be not only the basic science upon which all other sciences are erected, but also the one science to which all other sciences are reducible. This is the view, then, that in the millennium physics will be sufficient for the purposes of explaining and predicting the behavior of everything including persons.”

This seems to be a statement of physical reductionism or in some sense one of the basic tenets of hmolscience.

Cornman, further on in his article, after introducing the term eliminative materialism, goes on, supposedly, to criticize the concept. [2] The response 1970 article “In Defense of Eliminative Materialism”, by Rorty, supposedly, is a convincing rebuttal to Cornman. [3]

American philosopher Paul Churchland is a noted advocate of the eliminative materialism position. In his 1981 “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes”, he stated that the traditional roadblocks to the so-called materialist program, namely emotions, qualia, and raw feelings, were beginning to dissolve as compared to previous decades, and went on to argue that neuroscience needs to be more substantially integrated into physical science. [5]

In short, folk psychology based concepts such as beliefs, feelings, and desires, according to according to Paul Churchland, are theoretical constructs without coherent definition, destined to be obviated by a thoroughly scientific understanding of human nature.

Canadian-born American philosopher Patricia Churchland's provocative 1986 Neurophilosophy is also said to advocate the eliminative materialism positions, suggesting that developments in neuroscience point to a bleak future for commonsense mental states. [6]

In the 2011 Juarrero-Deacon affair, American neurological anthropologist Terrence Deacon stated that the one thing that he and Cuban-born American philosopher Alicia Juarrero have in common is that they both “share a criticism of simple eliminative materialism.” [4]

1. Cornman, James W. (1968). “On the Elimination of ‘Sensations’ and Sensations” (abs), The Review of Metaphysics, 22(1):15-35.
2. Williams, Michael. (1999). Groundless Belief: an Essay on the Possibility of Epistemology (pg. 163). Princeton University Press.
3. Rorty, Richard. (1970). “In Defense of Eliminative Materialism”, Review of Metaphysics,
4. Deacon letters – TheTerryDeaconAffair.com.
5. (a) Churchland, Paul M. (1981). “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes” (abs), The Journal of Philosophy, 78(2):67-90.
(b) Eliminative materialism – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
6. (a) Churchland, Patricia. (1986). Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain. MIT Press.
(b) Patricia Churchland – Wikipedia.

External links
‚óŹ Eliminative materialism – Wikipedia.

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