Section 2 4 there ain t no such things as ghosts
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Section 2.4 There Ain’t No Such Things as Ghosts. Mind as Myth. Eliminative Materialism. According to eliminative materialism , there are no mental states. So reference to mental states should be eliminated from our theories of behavior.

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Section 2 4 there ain t no such things as ghosts

Section 2.4There Ain’t No SuchThings as Ghosts

Mind as Myth

Eliminative materialism
Eliminative Materialism

  • According to eliminative materialism, there are no mental states.

  • So reference to mental states should be eliminated from our theories of behavior.

  • Eliminativists believe that mental states are to brains as demons are to disease; they are an illusion.

Thought experiment rorty s demons
Thought Experiment: Rorty’s Demons

  • Certain tribes believe that diseases are caused by demons.

  • We don’t share that belief because we can explain diseases without appeal to demons.

  • Similarly, Rorty claims, once we can explain behavior without appeal to mental states there will be no reason to believe they exist.

Folk psychology
Folk Psychology

  • Folk psychology is our common-sense theory of the mind that explains people’s behavior in terms of mental states like belief and desire.

  • Eliminative materialists believe that psychologists will be able to explain people’s behavior without referring to mental states.

Thought experiment searle s chevrolet station wagon
Thought Experiment:Searle’s Chevrolet Station Wagon

  • Physicists can explain much of reality without using folk concepts such as “golf club,” “tennis racket,” or “Chevrolet station wagon.”

  • But that doesn’t mean that golf clubs, tennis rackets, and Chevrolet station wagons don’t exist.

Subjective knowledge
Subjective Knowledge

  • If either reductive or eliminative materialism were true, it would be possible to provide a complete description of the world in purely physical terms, for there would be no nonphysical things or properties.

  • But would a complete knowledge of all the physical facts about the world really give us a complete knowledge of the world?

Thought experiment jackson s color challenged scientist
Thought Experiment: Jackson’s Color-Challenged Scientist

  • Suppose Mary knows all the physical information about the visual process, but has never seen a colored object.

  • Now suppose that she sees a colored object for the first time.

  • Will she learn anything new? If so, it seems that physical properties are not the only properties in the world.