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Strengths And Weaknesses Of Eliminative Materialism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1281 words Published: 17th May 2017

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Eliminative Materialism puts forward serious arguments that are worth into consideration and ultimately embracing. It is viable and holds very valid arguments that can shape the course of philosophy in order to slot it within the modern thought that is driven by empiricism. It has its weaknesses and strengths even though its effects have cut across the world within the platforms of both formal and informal philosophical debates. Of great influence is the view that the much celebrated folk psychology is a distasteful idea whose existence will ultimately be cut short in the wake of cognitive science (also dubbed as neuroscience). The hope that folk psychology will be done away with by neuroscience is not guaranteed considering that many people and philosophers still have a soft spot for the folk psychology.

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The argument to embrace eliminative materialism views is propelled by the realization that folk psychology invokes ideas from a weird and ghostly world that are based on extra-fiction creatures that no modern science can authentic. The inherent transformation of many of folk psychology’s ideas into the epiphenomenalism puts it at a more precarious condition. Eliminative materialism appreciates the fact for philosophy to continue making any sense, it must take note that folk psychology merely leads us to admitting that our mental content is influence by factors out of the head or otherwise; this sidesteps the power of the human mind which has the power to coalesce all the two instances and more

While eliminative materialism is valid and should be upheld, the notion that there are no beliefs, desires and that philosophical contributions should shun discussions to the opposite of this claim remains a matter of discourse.


From as early as the 16th century when Descartes invited other thinker to query the complexities and conflicts of body and soul, the obscurity on the scope of body-soul conflict has remained elusive. The biggest challenge has remained what actually the body and the mind are. The mind that is attributed to be the source of human thoughts, regarded as the second public and the drive of many of the human actions, has been investigated by many scholars to understand what gives the human mind commands. From the16th century numerous view points have been served on the academic table of philosophy with a majority of them being less compelling or even too obfuscated to explain the obvious problem.

In an attempt to unravel the mystery that makes the body and the mind complex, Paul Churchland and other proponents of the eliminative materialist approach have presented a number of arguments that are blatant shots at the folk psychology. According to philosophers who argue along the grains of eliminative materialism, the only way out in understanding the complex but practical nature of the body and mind will be embraced when we do away with the greatest stumbling block which is the folk psychology’s concept of mental states. In his spirited fight to knock sense in the heads of folk psychologists, Churchland argues that it is impossible match physical states with their corresponding mental states and the nation propounded by folk psychology should be eliminated from the human ontology; a view that justifies the name eliminative materialism. This view becomes the materialistic approach towards the human mind which Churchland claims eliminates.

The culture of individualism is also referred to as Capitalism. In philosophy, the notion that all facts concerned with the human way of thinking are dependent on physical process that the body is involved in. some families can be considered materialistic due to their metaphysical understanding. These theories can be best defined as those that almost resemble paradigmatic opinions. This is also referred to as the mechanical opinion. These opinions or theories are of different types. Most of them are covered in this article.  

    Many researches conducted come up with the opinion that use of concepts can reveal what state a person’s mind is. Based on Nigel Warburton’s comment, it is noted that philosophers can become more knowledgeable from neuroscience. This pushes them to revise some of the words mostly used by folks. This is unlike Pat Churchland’s opinion that there is absolutely no need to interfere with words used by folks. It states that they should not be replaced with neurobiological words. This is true to the fact that use of neurobiological words would really shut many people out. This would work in league with their economy and the culture that they follow in their whole life.

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    It is still argued that most of the issues concerning human beings are mainly neurological cases. It can also be noted that a human being are built by the occupations that they hold in life. They are also built up of the objectives that they share and the kind of relationships they are involved in. many philosophers recognize Pat Churchland’s opinion as an attempt to bring out the clear meaning of materialism. Her beliefs are quite different from all other ones associated with the issue. It is agreeable that the words used by folks really need to be revised. This is in further support of Churchland’s opinion. This is however, objected by noting that neurological words are not necessarily the immediate options. This makes philosophers wonder if humans are really, what they think they are or they are creatures in human forms.  

There are some problems and weaknesses associated with the eliminative materialism. Most notable is its approach to the body and mind that out rightly ignores the significance of material culture and its obvious effects on human beings’ daily encounters. This puts the credibility of the proponents of the eliminative materialism at an awkward position considering the fact some philosophers like Bruno Latour argues that it not possible for a reductionist scientist to be essentially reductive. It is argued that the thin line walked by Churchland and crew is one that does conform to critics view that eliminative materialism disregard for material culture makes positions it wrongly for amending the folk psychology and like any other dream becomes unreachable just like it is not possible to be alive without a body.

Unlike the disregard that eliminative materialism holds against material culture, this notion is very impactful in discussing the body and the mind. In the notion of material culture, the term qualia defines anything that could not be any more familiar; it is the way we view things according to how we have been experiencing them. Philosophically, speaking, it is easier to understand terms accompanied by examples than the crude manner in which we would want to define them. As such our states of mind are far influenced by issues that our bodies have experienced in the past than mere talk of facts that our bodies have not yet experienced.

When we view images like a cup of tea simmering our future references on cups maybe influenced by this qualia. Again when we experience sounds we like or dislike they become our auditory qualia. There can never be anything that is more vivid than an individual’s qualia. An individual’s qualia is made of different conscious and unconscious properties that constitute one’s sole view of the world. Even if the rest of the world is an illusion defined by utmost obscurity, our qualia becomes the solace in understanding the world since what we know and have experienced can never change in our minds.


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