Interesting post by Ben Woodard reviewing Wolfendale’s THE NOUMENON’S NEW CLOTHES. He lists several previous reviews, dating from October 2014. He describes two typical reactions, regarding the book as either vitriolic without content or quixotic with too much content (more than OOP itself has).

I began blogging on Wolfendale’s book before the others, in September: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/de-noumenising-the-debate-1-pete-wolfendales-creative-disappointment-with-ooo/. I belong to neither of the camps Woodard describes. Where others see vitriol, I see anamnesis (both individual and collective). Where others see quixotic provocation, I see a competent synthesis of prior critiques (mostly unacknowledged by Wolfendale).

Dominic Fox attempts to defuse the conflict by arguing preemptively that Harman and Wolfendale are operating out of two totally different conceptions of philosophy. Where others see incommensurable ideals of philosophy, I see two rival philosophical positions on the same plane: idealist reductionism (Harman) and physico-mathematical reductionism (Wolfendale).

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2 Responses to QUARRELS OF REDUCTIONISM: Harman vs Wolfendale

  1. JH says:

    Are there more specific reviews of Wolfendale where you make explicit why he is “scientistic”? You say that he is a “mathematical-reductionist”, but I don’t think his supposed reductionism influences his critiques of Harman negatively. Rather than being reductive, I’ve thought Wolfendale pushing a Brandomian rationalistic picture, which I see as a potential for a genuine alternative to OOO.


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