David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):129-138 (2013)
Following recent work by Don Ross (Ross, 2000; Ross & Spurrett, 2004), I contrast the influential theories of Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland in information-theoretic terms. Dennett makes much of the fact that the morphological shorthand which emerges before a witness as she looks upon cohesive aggregates of matter commands some measure of predictive power. This, for him, speaks against eliminating recourse to an intentional vocabulary. By contrast, the eliminative materialism defended by Churchland does not gloss such informational compressibility as an explanatory desideratum, and thus regards the informational noise which accrues at higher levels of description as patently unacceptable. Yet, since it is unlikely, as Ross, Ladyman, and Collier (2007) have recently suggested, that anything remains once we subtract the appeal to patterns, I argue that the ubiquity of informational compression in scientific explanation seriously undermines the claim that talk of the mental could be eliminated
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References found in this work BETA
Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.) (2000). Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Paul M. Churchland (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.
Paul M. Churchland (2005). Chimerical Colors: Some Phenomenological Predictions From Cognitive Neuroscience. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):527-560.
Paul M. Churchland (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
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