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Non-Reductive Naturalism and the Vocabulary of Agency

Non-Reductive Naturalism and the Vocabulary of Agency Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 2 (December 2013), 155­172 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Carl Sachs has recently provided a helpful discussion of Richard Rorty's thinking concerning the question of naturalism, distinguishing between two positions he terms `non-reductive physicalism' and `pragmatic naturalism' (Sachs 2009). The central difference between them is that the latter but not the former sees what Sachs, following Bjørn Ramberg, calls the vocabulary of agency as having a transcendental role in relation to other vocabularies. I raise some doubts about pragmatic naturalism and the reasons Sachs gives for preferring it to non-reductive physicalism, and about whether Rorty or any pragmatist naturalist should subscribe to the latter rather than the former. 1. In a recent paper Carl Sachs provides a helpful discussion of Richard Rorty's thinking concerning the question of naturalism (Sachs 2009). He distinguishes between two positions that he terms `non-reductive physicalism' and `pragmatic naturalism', claiming that Rorty has moved, under pressure from critical remarks by Bjørn Ramberg (2000), from an endorsement of the first to an endorsement of the second. Moreover, the latter is the more cogent position, according to Sachs. The central difference between non-reductive physicalism and pragmatic naturalism is that the latter but not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Non-Reductive Naturalism and the Vocabulary of Agency

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 10 (2): 155 – Apr 21, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000264
Publisher site
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Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 2 (December 2013), 155­172 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Carl Sachs has recently provided a helpful discussion of Richard Rorty's thinking concerning the question of naturalism, distinguishing between two positions he terms `non-reductive physicalism' and `pragmatic naturalism' (Sachs 2009). The central difference between them is that the latter but not the former sees what Sachs, following Bjørn Ramberg, calls the vocabulary of agency as having a transcendental role in relation to other vocabularies. I raise some doubts about pragmatic naturalism and the reasons Sachs gives for preferring it to non-reductive physicalism, and about whether Rorty or any pragmatist naturalist should subscribe to the latter rather than the former. 1. In a recent paper Carl Sachs provides a helpful discussion of Richard Rorty's thinking concerning the question of naturalism (Sachs 2009). He distinguishes between two positions that he terms `non-reductive physicalism' and `pragmatic naturalism', claiming that Rorty has moved, under pressure from critical remarks by Bjørn Ramberg (2000), from an endorsement of the first to an endorsement of the second. Moreover, the latter is the more cogent position, according to Sachs. The central difference between non-reductive physicalism and pragmatic naturalism is that the latter but not

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2013

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