Where does the self-refutation objection take us?

Inquiry 33 (December):453-65 (1990)
Eliminative materialism is the position that common?sense psychology is false and that beliefs and desires, like witches and demons, do not exist. One of the most popular criticisms of this view is that it is self?refuting or, in some sense, incoherent. Hence, it is often claimed that eliminativism is not only implausible, but necessarily false. Below, I assess the merits of this objection and find it seriously wanting. I argue that the self?refutation objection is (at best) a misleading reformulation of much more mundane objections to eliminativism and that, contrary to its advocates? endorsements, it adds nothing of genuine interest to the debate over the existence of prepositional attitudes
Keywords Eliminativism  Materialism  Psychology  Self-refutation  Social Philosophy
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DOI 10.1080/00201749008602235
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