The BBT and Performative Contradiction

The paradoxes of speculative eliminativism are based on avoiding all meta-cognitive discussion of the so-called « theory » that generates them. Such a theory can never be enounced without its incoherence being apparent to all. Recent appeals to a meta-cognitive phantasm, « cognitive science » taken as a unified homogeneous entity, to legitimate the continued hammering out of such elementary paradoxes are themselves incoherent. « Cognitive science » cannot show that cognition is theoretically incomptetent, as cognitive science does not exist without cognitive scientists who cognize all day long: they know how to get to their lab, to do their experiments, to write their reports and get them published, to eat what will keep them alive, etc. We cognize successfully all the time. No cognitive scientist could conclude, without performative contradiction, that cognition is illusory, as this is itself a cognitive claim.


Over at Footnotes2Plato, Matt made a post linking to Adam Robbert’s Noë and Uexküll: Ecology, Style, and Meaning on Knowledge Ecology. Scott’s response to Matt is in the comments and I’m re-posting my response to Scott here. The post is below – de-personalized a little and with some minor edits:

If I verbally state “I’m speaking French [in English]” and mean to claim that I am literally speaking French, it is a performative contradiction. If someone responds by pointing out that I’m speaking English, responding that they’ve begged the question because they have assumed that language exists and that I’m speaking English is ludicrous. You have spoken English.

That’s the simple part.

In effect Matt is asserting the opposite, explaining that you cannot say what you’re saying without first having a mind. In much the same sense that one could assert validly that you could not even say the…

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