Eliminative Materialism and Dualism

Topics: Philosophy of mind, Mind, Dualism Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: October 25, 2010
Eliminative Materialism is a theory that deems that the common sense understanding of the mind is wrong. It also poses that one day neurosciences will reveal that mental states do not refer to anything real. In fact, the concept of mental states will eventually be eliminated by neuroscience. In the past, mental states were explained by what is called folk psychology. Churchland argues that folk psychology will gradually be replaced as neuroscience grows more advanced and explains more. The problems that eliminative materialist see with folk psychology is that it often excludes or is mistaken about mental phenomenon that can now, currently, be explained by neuroscience. Neuroscience has been able to explain phenomenon such as dreaming, consciousness, and memory. Due to the fact that there have been no further developments in folk psychology, it is considered a stagnant theory. Folk psychology is widely discredited mainly because it is outdated and such things as neuroscience were developed. In essence, eliminative materialism calls for elimination of the mind all together. One of the points it argues is the widespread failures of the mind. It states that despite centuries of studies, there are still many concepts that modern psychology can’t explain or understand. Also there have been similar examples from history of folk psychology and other disproven theories. One example is ancient people’s theory of the movement of stars, which was later disproven. Another argument of Churchland’s is that folk psychology is unlikely to have a neat reduction, and will most likely not have a neat development. This is where Churchland disagrees with Carruthers.

On the opposite end from eliminative materialism is Dualism. More specifically, interactive substance dualism, which was supported by such philosophers as Descartes and Goertler. This theory was famously by Descartes. It states that there are two fundamental types of substance; mental and material. According to...
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