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  1. Functional Contextualism Steven C. Hayes University of Nevada

  2. What is Philosophy of Science? • Philosophy is a process of specifying your assumptions, detecting inconsistencies among them, and acknowledging their implications

  3. Why Does it Matter? • Concepts unplugged from their orienting assumptions lose vitality • Incoherence can lead to dead ends • Assumptions provide coherent measures of progress

  4. Stephen C. Pepper • We are not so cognitively advanced that we can deal with complexity without the guidance of underlying root metaphors, drawn from common sense

  5. Why Contextualism? • The unit: The situated, historical, purposive act • Truth criterion: successful working • Why? This is when behaviorism became “radical”

  6. Types • Descriptive: a personal experience of the participants in the whole • Functional: prediction and influence with precision, scope, and depth

  7. The Weirdest Feature • A-ontological: multiple language games are possible • It is an essential part of contextualism and of radical behaviorism • Necessary to the truth criterion

  8. The Weirdest Feature • Descriptive contextualists have used it to tear down science • But that is a kind of ontology

  9. How Do You Know? • The mind demands an answer • But there is more to us that the answer why • Consider values

  10. Where it Goes in Functional Contextualism • Keeps us focused on what works, not who is right • Keeps us flexible • Grounds knowledge in experience • But most of all …

  11. Helps Us Shut Up • When we have nothing useful to say beyond experience itself