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|Title:||Reasons, Causes, and Eliminative Materialism|
|Abstract:||This thesis is a criticism of the theory in the philosophy of mind known as "eliminative materialism". While this theory has been advocated by a number of philosophers, none have pressed its thesis harder than Paul Churchland. Consequently, Churchland's work in this area has been the focus of current debates in the philosophy of mind. Although several philosophers have developed significant objections to Churchland's formulation of the thesis, Churchland has always been ready with a convincing reply. For this reason I propose to attack Churchland on as fundamental a level as seems possible, namely, by questioning his prE~supposition that folk-psychological explanation is a species of causal explanation. Without this presupposition there is little reason to expect Churchland's proposed theoretical elimination of folk psychology by neuroscience; for folk-psychological explanation (principally, reasongiving) must be characterized as a species of causal explanation if it is to be replaced by a better causalexplanatory theory of behaviour. I argue that reason-giving explanations are not a species of causal explanation. By undermining one of the central presuppositions of eliminative materialism, I hope to cast sufficient doubt on Churchland's thesis.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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