Beyond materialism: Mental capacity and naturalism, a consideration of method

Metaphilosophy 37 (1):74-91 (2006)
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This article challenges the neo-Darwinist physicalist position assumed by currently prevalent naturalizing accounts of consciousness. It suggests instead an evolutionary understanding of cognitive emergence and an acceptance of mental capacity as a phenomenon in its own right, differing qualitatively from, although not independent of, the physical and material world. I argue that if we accept that consciousness is an adaptation enabling survival through immediate individual intuition of the world, we may accept this metaphysics as a given. Methodological focus can then shift to investigating the, as yet untheorized, nature of consciousness itself as capacity/interconnectivity/potential. The article accepts Joseph Margolis's recent advocacy of a pragmatist approach that is "natural but not naturalizable" , that is, an anti-reductionist as opposed to an eliminativist position, but it seeks to develop this position further and to give it new direction



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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Logic: The Theory of Inquiry.John Dewey - 1938 - New York, NY, USA: Henry Holt.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):424-429.

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