Synthese 193 (9) (2016)

Jennifer Corns
University of Glasgow
Traditional eliminativism is the view that a term should be eliminated from everyday speech due to failures of reference. Following Edouard Machery, we may distinguish this traditional eliminativism about a kind and its term from a scientific eliminativism according to which a term should be eliminated from scientific discourse due to a lack of referential utility. The distinction matters if any terms are rightly retained for daily life despite being rightly eliminated from scientific inquiry. In this article, I argue that while scientific eliminativism for pain may be plausible, traditional eliminativism for pain is not. I discuss the pain eliminativisms offered by Daniel Dennett and Valerie Hardcastle and argue that both theorists, at best, provide support for scientific eliminativism for pain, but leave the folk-psychological notion of pain unscathed. One might, however, think that scientific eliminativism itself entails traditional eliminativism—for pain and any other kind and corresponding term. I argue that this is not the case. Scientific eliminativism for pain does not entail traditional eliminativism about anything
Keywords Pain  Eliminativism  Natural kind  Scientific eliminativism  Eliminative materialism  Folk psychology
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0897-8
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References found in this work BETA

Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Sensations and Brain Processes.Jjc Smart - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (April):141-56.

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Citations of this work BETA

Pain.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Recent Work on Pain.Jennifer Corns - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):737-753.
What Eliminative Materialism Isn’T.William M. Ramsey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11707-11728.
Towards a Definition of Efforts.Olivier Massin - 2017 - Motivation Science 3 (3):230-259.

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