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Pragmatism, Science and Naturalism


Jonathan Knowles and Henrik Rydenfelt

According to metaphysical naturalism science has given us overwhelming reason to see the world as made up just of physical things. The job of philosophers is then to understand how our concepts of non-physical things, like beliefs and values, can map onto this world. Pragmatist philosophers take the scientific enterprise seriously, but have a critical view of metaphysical naturalism. Classical pragmatism, which stems from the work of Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey, resists metaphysical naturalism by rejecting its conception of science as too narrow. Neo-pragmatist thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Robert Brandom and Huw Price resist it by offering different conceptions of the relationship between language and the world. The papers in this volume offer perspectives and reflections on the interrelations between pragmatism and science, and the consequences these have for a naturalistic philosophy.
Contents: Jonathan Knowles/Henrik Rydenfelt: Introduction – Robert Sinclair: Anthropocentric Naturalism – Martin Gustafsson: Eliminativism, Reference and Vocabulary Replacement: Sellarsian Roots of Rortian Pragmatism – Jonathan Knowles: Naturalism, Pragmatism and the Retreat from Metaphysics: Scientific versus Subject Naturalism – Huw Price: Expressivism for Two Voices – Henrik Rydenfelt: Naturalism and Normative Science – Sami Pihlström: Contingency, Democracy, and the Human Sciences: Some Challenges for Pragmatic Naturalism – Bengt Molander: Pluralistic Pragmatism and - Pluralistic - Naturalism – Ingo Brigandt: Natural Kinds and Concepts: A Pragmatist and Methodologically Naturalistic Account – David Papineau: The Poverty of Analysis.