Philosophia 43 (3):565-578 (2015)

David Macarthur
University of Sydney
Reviewing the state of play in the attempt to naturalise content a quarter of a century after John Haugeland’s survey paper “The Intentionality All-Stars”, Dan Hutto and Glenda Satne propose a new naturalistic account of content that supposedly synthesizes what is best in the three failed programs of neo-Cartesianism, neo-Behaviourism and neo-Pragmatism. They propose to appeal to a Relaxed Naturalism, a non-reductive genealogical form of explanation and a primitive notion of contentless ur-intentionality. In this paper I argue that the authors’ Relaxed Naturalism is a broad form of Scientific Naturalism and, as such, it is unable to account for the problem of conceptual normativity that arises for any scientific naturalist attempt to explain content – whether reductive or not. This is based on the irreconcilability of the objective third-personal character of scientific inquiry and the intersubjective second-personal nature of the normativity of content. I suggest that the authors would do better to simply become neo-Pragmatists who, properly understood, are Liberal Naturalists who have the conceptual and methodological resources to acknowledge and do justice to conceptually normative content
Keywords Placement problem  Scientific Naturalism  Liberal Naturalism  Conceptual normativity  Scientific objectivity  Second-personal space
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-015-9621-7
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Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.

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