THE BRAIN IS PLASTIC, NOT BLIND

Eliminativism does not imply inevitable blindness but its contrary. Nor would its truth imply that we must give up mind-talk altogether. Eliminativism maintains that we can replace mind-talk by brain-talk, or we can keep the mentalistic vocabulary and give it a materialistic interpretation. This is so not because we, or our brains, are inherently “blind”, but because our intuitions can always if necessary, or if desirable, be replaced by others. Eliminativism as defended by Feyerabend and Rorty is based on a pluralist argument concerning the revisability of our vocabularies and/or intuitions. It does not proclaim that we are incapable of intuiting our nature, but on the contrary that we are quite capable of overturning supposedly fixed and universal vocabularies and interpretations and thus of changing the very terms and tenor of our experience.

“Blindness”, in the sense of fundamental metacognitive illusion, is historically an idealist trope affirming our essential ontological unconsciousness. The Freudian unconscious is an avatar of this idealist leitmotif and presents itself as an exploration of our essential blindness. As such it is compatible with quite divergent interpretations, both naturalist and non-naturalist.

Scott Bakker’s pseudo-theory of a “blind” brain mixes materialist and idealist registers in an incoherent conceptual miasma. He attempts to impose without argument the idea that “science” can know (theoretically) what we can’t (intuitively), neglecting the theoreticity and the historicity of perception. His impossibility-thesis is based on the very doctrine of meaning-invariance that the eliminativists have shown to be erroneous, and so represents a catastrophic regression for epistemology.

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2 Responses to THE BRAIN IS PLASTIC, NOT BLIND

  1. rsbakker says:

    So how would you explain the inability of traditional philosophy to resolve ANY of the problems generated by intentionality? A call for more intentional philosophy?
    What does it mean that the kind of metacognitive capacity predicted by BBT is actually what cognitive neuroscience is discovering?

    Like

  2. terenceblake says:

    These questions are off topic in relation to my post. Nowhere do I make mention of “intentional philosophy”.

    Like

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