Things are not What they Seem: The Trascendentalism of Appearances in the Refutation of Reductive Naturalism

Kritike 5 (2):166-184 (2011)

James Trafford
University For The Creative Arts
In this paper, I will re-examine the refutation of reductive naturalism by the anti-reductionist and the phenomenologist. I want first to outline a possible way of consistently polarising the field by showing that the anti-reductionist and phenomenologist adhere, at least to some degree, to what I will call the ‘principle of appearing qua appearing.’ The exemplar of reductive naturalism that I will go on to use is the work of Thomas Metzinger, which has come under serious criticism from phenomenologists. While this criticism has often assumed that Metzinger conflates phenomenology with introspection, I think that this is simply a terminological issue that will be sidestepped in order to look at the deeper problems that Metzinger’s work poses to the refutation of reductive naturalism. I go on to argue that this refutation relies upon the transcendentalism of appearances, and can be considered to be question begging. I will then consider three possible responses to my argument
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Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes.Paul M. Churchland - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.

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