Reduction, Elimination and Radical Uninterpretability

Anti-reductionist physicalists or materialists deny that psychology can be theoretically reduced to physics but allow physics sovereignty concerning what exists. Anti-reductionist arguments vary but a common line of attack against reductionism is that psychology expresses rational or normative relationships between mental states; not causal or functional relationships of the kind expressed in theories of natural […]

Robert Brandom and Posthumanism

Here’s a first draft of my paper for the Philosophy After Nature Conference in Utrecht, Sept 3-5. All feedback gratefully received! (For users a pdf is available here) BRANDOM AND POSTHUMAN AGENCY: AN ANTI-NORMATIVIST RESPONSE TO BOUNDED POSTHUMANISM David Roden, Open University Introduction: Bounded Posthumanism Posthumanism can be critical or speculative in orientation. Both kinds […]

Interpretations are Tools, Concepts are Demons

I’m currently using Davidsonian radical interpretation as a model for understanding the obstructions presented by very alien minds and phenomenologies – posthumans, aliens, cats, etc. However, much as I admire Davidson’s writings I don’t really want to be a Davidsonian. For example, I don’t think that content is constituted by how others might interpret it in ideal […]

Psychosemantics Redux

There is a concise but thought-provoking post over at the Philosophy of Brains blog by Gualtiero Piccinini here. ‘Psychosemantics’ refers to the project of explaining the intentional content of mental states in terms of non-intentional properties such as causal relations between head and world. The problem with what Jerry Fodor refers to as ‘crude causal’ […]