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Paul Churchland on Materialism - Dictionary of Arguments

Pauen I 100
Materialism, eliminative/VsChurchland/Pauen: claim to be able to justify the abandonment of the terminology of everyday psychology. This assumes, however, that the corresponding entities do not exist in fact.
This is an ontological and not just a language-philosophical thesis.
Churchland claims that there are no serious objections to the eliminative materialism. That is not the case, however.
I 101
VsMaterialismus, eliminative/Pauen: 1. False claim to know that there are neural, but no mental states.
Performative contradiction: if this is about knowledge, then it must be true. There must therefore be no opinions (i.e., mental states).
On the other hand, however, the knowledge status implicitly implies that the representative of a claim itself, is of the opinion that the facts are true.
Patricia Churchland/Pauen: admits this performative contradiction, but sees in it only a further proof for our entanglement in the everyday psychology.
VsChurchland: that is a mere announcement that the contradiction will be solved somehow.
I 102
Performative contradiction/Churchland/Pauen: For example, the vitalism also diagnoses this contradiction: the opponent asserts that there are no spirits of life.
This opponent, however, is himself alive, so he must have spirits of life ...
PauenVsChurchland: that is not the same: the contradiction does not run on the same level:
The opponent of vitalism does not depend on vitalism, but has an alternative concept.
In contrast, the defender of everyday psychology does not have to make such a presupposition: the assertion that knowledge implies an opinion (the controversial mental state), is after all no invention of everyday psychology, it is not an empirical thesis at all.
VsMaterialism, eliminative/Pauen: 2nd problem of intertheoretical reduction: everyday psychology is to be eliminated, especially because it cannot be reduced to neurobiology.
Robert McCauley/Pauen: therefore the two theories must compete on the same level. E.g. Phlogiston/Chemistry.
In contrast to that, everyday psychology and scientific psychology are located on completely different levels. (First/third person, micro/macro).
I 104
3. For example, split brain patients/Pauen: empirical evidence shows that, in particular, feelings are language-independent and thus can also be identified pre-theorytically.
Patients react, but have no more conscious access. The stimuli occur in the right, unconscious, language-incapable hemisphere. Nevertheless, patients can provide correct information. They can neither be based on the generalizations of everyday psychology nor on a knowledge of the perceived object.
I 105
This can only be explained if one assumes that emotional states have an intrinsic quality that also allows theory-independent interpretation.
Churchland/Pauen: The latter then excludes the phenomenal states from the elimination. The everyday experience should no longer be changed by elimination.
VsChurchland: this, however, diverges from the usual everyday psychology, which also includes pain. He had previously included pain in the states which would be changed by the elimination of the terms.
Moreover, he is inconsistent when he insists on the elimination of cognitive consciousness.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Churla I
Paul M. Churchland
Matter and Consciousness Cambridge 2013

Churli I
Patricia S. Churchland
Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Brains New York 2014

Churli II
Patricia S. Churchland
"Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Consciousness?" in: The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates ed. Block, Flanagan, Güzeldere pp. 127-140
Bewusstein, Thomas Metzinger, Paderborn/München/Wien/Zürich 1996

Pauen I
M. Pauen
Grundprobleme der Philosophie des Geistes Frankfurt 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-10-06
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