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Profile: Tanya de Villiers-Botha (University of Stellenbosch)
  1. Tanya de Villiers-Botha (2014). How Not to Be a Metaethical Naturalist –Jesse Prinz on the Emotional Construction of Morals. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):145-154.
    Jesse Prinz develops a naturalistic metaethical theory with which he purports to sidestep ‘Hume's law’ by demonstrating how, on his theory, in describing what our moral beliefs commit us to we can determine what our moral obligations are. I aim to show that Prinz does not deliver on his prescriptive promise – he does not bridge the is–ought gap in any meaningful way. Given that Prinz goes on to argue that (1) his moral psychology highlights fundamental shortcomings in ‘traditional’ normative (...)
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  2. Tanya de Villiers-Botha (2011). Peculiarities in Mind ; or, on the Absence of Darwin. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):282-302.
    A key failing in contemporary philosophy of mind is the lack of attention paid to evolutionary theory in its research projects. Notably, where evolution is incorporated into the study of mind, the work being done is often described as philosophy of cognitive science rather than philosophy of mind. Even then, whereas possible implications of the evolution of human cognition are taken more seriously within the cognitive sciences and the philosophy of cognitive science, its relevance for cognitive science has only been (...)
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  3. Tanya de Villiers-Botha (2007). Why Peirce Matters: The Symbol in Deacon's Symbolic Species. Language Sciences 29 (1):88-108.
    In "Why brains matter: an integrational perspective on The Symbolic Species" Cowley (2002) [Language Sciences 24, 73-95] suggests that Deacon pictures brains as being able to process words qua tokens, which he identifies as the theory's Achilles' heel. He goes on to argue that Deacon's thesis on the co-evolution of language and mind would benefit from an integrational approach. This paper argues that Cowley's criticism relies on an invalid understanding of Deacon's use the concept of "symbolic reference", which he appropriates (...)
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