By Paul K. Moser
Modern Materialism offers a big number of contemporary paintings on materialism in reference to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of brain and theories of worth. This anthology charts the modern difficulties, positions and issues regarding materialism. It illuminates materialism's complicated intersection with comparable topics resembling cognition and psychology. by means of collecting a wide-range of philosophical interventions round the topic of materialism, this anthology presents a precious dialogue of ways materialism can successfully serve the needs of philosophical overview. To extra support the reader, it additionally comprises an intensive bibliography on modern materialism.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Materialism - A Reader
But must it not be possible to give an explanation of the truth-conditions of mathematical statements purely in terms of the physical phenomena that they apply to? Consider, as a parallel, the dispute in the philosophy of perception between upholders of the Representative theory and the Phenomenalists. The former theory postulates physical objects behind the immediately perceived sense-data, the latter gives an account of physical reality in terms of sense-data alone. Although I reject both theories, I have no doubt that the former is by far the more satisfactory.
Whether anything else exists is controversial. If any entities outside the system are postulated, but have no effect on the system, there is no compelling reason to postulate them. Occam’s razor then enjoins us not to postulate them. Natural science has made spectacular advances as a result of the postulation of unobservable entities. Consider microbes, genes, atoms, molecules, electrons, quarks and black holes. The value of such postulations is a standing reproach to any positivistic conception of natural science.
Because all of these interpretations are compatible with all the observations (that is, no empirical evidence distinguishes the interpretations), reference, Quine says, is inscrutable. ” Quine’s treatment of reference is behaviorist, but in what sense is Quine’s account of the relation of reference naturalistic? It is naturalistic in its treatment of the relation of reference as part of the subject matter of science. This naturalism seeks to allow us to lay claim to knowledge and at the same time acknowledge that principles of epistemic evaluation are to be found within science itself.