Content Pragmatism Defended

Topoi:1-11 (forthcoming)

Dimitri Coelho Mollo
Humboldt-University, Berlin
In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections moved against the view. According to these objections, content pragmatism fails to capture the role played by representation in the cognitive sciences; and/or is an unstable view that ends up collapsing into one of the traditional alternatives. I argue that those arguments fail. I show that content pragmatism has as much claim to descriptive adequacy as the traditional theories. Moreover, I defend the robustness of the view by arguing that it does not collapse into any of the traditional positions. Content pragmatism therefore offers a valid and coherent account of the nature of representational content.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-017-9504-6
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Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

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