On 09 Mar 2011, at 20:09, 1Z wrote:
On Mar 9, 6:00 pm, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
On 9 March 2011 17:22, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
The point of eliminativism is that the eliminated thing doesn't
Just so. At a reduced ontological level, heat doesn't exist at all -
It does, because it is identified with something that does exist
it's just molecular motion, no more, no less, and any explanation
invoking heat could in principle be entirely eliminated by one
invoking molecular motion.
Or vice versa. But replacement of a description by an
equivalent or synonymous one does not show that
neither has a referent
Moreover, it is difficult to see why anyone would complain
about a sense of "elimination" that just means non-fundamental,
when we don't necessarily know what is fundamental, and
we are going to continue using the term
Not knowing what (if anything) may ultimately turn out to be the
bottom level doesn't stop us from knowing that, in the hierarchy of
explanation, molecular motion is a more fundamental level than heat.
And the question of whether we go on using the eliminated term is an
epistemological matter (i.e. it concerns what we know and can say)
an ontological one (concerning what ultimately exists).
The question of whether we continue using the term is ontological,
because the issue of whether it has something to refer to is
(albeit not fundamentally so). We *can* stop using the term
"pholgiston" because it has nothing to refer to.
More importantly, the concept has a referent. It is just the
same referent as another concept. But if your are going to
call that "elimination", what are you going to call
what happened to phlogiston? "Extermination"?
If here you want to say that phlogiston was eliminated, then you are
clearly using the word in a non-standard way.
No, you are, because elimnativism and reductionism are
Phlogiston is just a
theoretical term of an incorrect theory of combustion, and hence no
longer has a place in the replacement theory.
Heat, on the other
hand, is believed to refer correctly to a more fundamental underlying
molecular phenomenon, and hence can be retained as a theoretical
concept, though eliminated as a fundamental entity in its own right.
Fine. So reductionist materialists only believe that mind doesn't
exist in its own right...whereas eliminativists believe it doesn't
exist at all.
The reductionist programme seeks to eliminate any need (in
principle) to appeal to any and all non-fundamental ontological
entities in precisely this way, and hence show ontology as
a single fundamental base, thereby situating composite entities
It is hard to see what you mean by "epistemological" there.
I don't think it is a synonym for "non fundamental"
In effect, it *is* a synonym for non-fundamental. If, as reductive
programmes envisage, ontology can be grounded somewhere in a finite
set of ultimate entities and their relations, then non-fundamental
entities (composites) must be aspects of what we know, not what
They are neither: they are what things non-ultimately are.
Aspects of knowledge would be things like truth and justification
That's correct. But if that analysis was possibly successful, there
would be no HP. Consciousness does exist in its own right, unlike
heat, and so the analogy with heat break down ... unless you push the
comp hypothesis to its ultimate conclusion and make primitive matter a
convenient fiction. In that reversed direction we attach an immaterial
(and self-referential property like knowledge Bp (& p)), to an
immaterial entity (well an infinity of them). The hard problem comes
from the insistence to privilege a particular type of 'physical'
implementation. Consciousness becomes a person attribute, like a
belief in a reality, and we can explain why it has unfathomable
feature, why it is not definable, etc. matter becomes more complex to
recover, and that is the point of the reversal. Appearance of matter
does not disappear though, as the logic of the consistent belief and
knowledge (the modality defined by Bp & Dp (& p) illustrate.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at