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Quine's Eliminativism and the Crystal Spheres

Nathan Stemmer
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 38, No. 2 (November, 2007), pp. 315-327
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20722494
Page Count: 13
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Quine's Eliminativism and the Crystal Spheres
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Abstract

Quine's eliminativist theory has largely been ignored by the philosophical community. This is highly regrettable because Quine's theory is probably close to correct. Now, the probable correctness of Quine's theory has an important consequence since, according to the theory, there are no mental entities (events, states, phenomena, properties, etc.) nor do such entities play any role in a scientific account of the relevant phenomena. But the hundreds or probably thousands of publications that deal with issues such as mental causation, the nature of qualia, supervenience of the mental, or multiple realizability, presume the existence of, or at least attribute a positive role to, mental entities. The probable correctness of Quine's theory therefore suggests that all these publications are worthless and reading them is a waste of time just as reading studies about how crystal spheres can move planets is considered nowadays a waste of time.

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