Eliminative materialist philosophers, like Paul and Patricia Churchland, argue that the common use of mental state language is confused. They hold that neurological descriptions of mental states, more accurate and scientifically rigorous than “folk psychology”, should replace mental state language in a serious research program. In this paper, I argue that eliminative materialism instead poses an awkward and unwieldy research program. I take a computational functionalist position in order to demonstrate the way that mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena are useful in a scientific research program, and that mental states are in principle amenable to mathematical descriptions and modeling. I then argue that the eliminativist cannot avail herself of the same resources.
"Two Objections to the Eliminativist Research Program,"
International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities: Vol. 9:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/ijurca/vol9/iss2/1