Defusing eliminative materialism: Reference and revision

Philosophical Psychology 11 (4):489-509 (1998)
The doctrine of eliminative materialism holds that belief-desire psychology is massively referentially disconnected. We claim, however, that it is not at all obvious what it means to be referentially (dis)connected. The two major accounts of reference both lead to serious difficulties for eliminativism: it seems that elimination is either impossible or omnipresent. We explore the idea that reference fixation is a much more local, partial, and context-dependent process than was supposed by the classical accounts. This pragmatic view suggests that elimination is not the prime model for understanding the complex relations between the mind and brain sciences, and that we have little ground for concluding that in general psychological kinds do not exist. We suggest that reference changes are better seen as continuous rather than completely eliminative.
Keywords Eliminativism  Materialism  Reference  Science  Churchland, P
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089808573274
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #105,336 of 1,727,288 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,727,288 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.