12 THESES ON ELIMINATIVISM

Eliminativism is

1) speculation: eliminativism is a speculative ontological hypothesis, not a scientific conclusion

2) metaphysical: the scientistic materialist is not doing science, she is doing metaphysics. There is no “trickle up” effect that would make her speculations about empirical matters of fact themselves empirical

3) self-refuting: the scientistic materialist view of cognition as determined by our biology, and as ultimately a deterministic survival-seeking mechanism rather than a noetic truth-seeking one, makes science impossible, yet it argues from science

4) partial: the scientistic materialist does not argue from the whole of science (as if the sciences could speak with one voice, not even one science alone can do that), but from a narrow selection of scientific results

5) unilateral: the scientistic materialist gives a one-sided metaphysical interpretation of these results, as it does not consider rival views to be valid alternatives. Condemning its rivals as speculative, it truncates or abrogates rational discussion

6) monolithic: eliminativism presupposes a unified homogeneous science. Yet any field of science, including the rapidly growing field of cognitive science, is a contentious jumble of multiple conjectures, conflicting interpretations, and findings pointing in divergent directions

7) monistic: eliminativism presupposes a unified homogeneous nature. This posit of a strong Nature is implicit, but it is what authorises its extrapolation from a regional ontology to a total worldview

8) positivist: eliminativism presupposes science as the measuring standard of all knowledge. Nonscientific modes of knowing are ruled out as either illusions or non-cognitive practices

9) dogmatic: eliminativism uses its metaphysical heuristic as if it were certain knowledge,
established scientific truth. Scientism has a very inadequate comprehension of how science
proceeds, of its past history and of its current (non-unitary, heterogeneous) state

10) narrow: eliminativism bases itself on a very narrow conceptual base compared to speculative philosophers who make use of evolutionary biology and brain science, but also of the large range of the theoretical resources of Contnental philosophy

11) naïve: eliminativism is unaware of the metaphysical status of its own theory, speculative philosophers are of the metaphysical status of their theories and make full use of this awareness to complexify their reasoning and analyses, instead of homogenising and simplifying them

12) extrapolation: eliminativism makes its selection of scientific material and then generalises it to create a world picture having universal value, proceeding by speculative pseudo-induction disguised as empiricism.

Conclusion: eliminativism is a very interesting speculative hypothesis that deserves to be developped, but which cannot claim to be the only rationally envisageable hypothesis, to which we are forced by the findings of contemporary science.

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