Reductionism and Discourse Relativity

Philo 12 (1):61-72 (2009)
Abstract
This paper is an interpretation and defense of Putnam’s claim that reductionist sentences identifying experiences with physical events or processes are meaningless. Discourses are formulated within frameworks that are characterized by their methods of justification, types of term introduction, and vocabularies. Examples of both meaningful intra-framework and meaningless cross-framework identities are considered, along with examples of theoretical identities across sub-frameworks. In agreement with Putnam, mental/physical identities are classified as cross-framework. But I qualify Putnam’s thesis by arguing that they can be meaningful to theextent they provide guides to beneficial social actions.’
Keywords Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1098-3570
DOI 10.5840/philo20091215
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