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Naturalism in the Cognitive Sciences and the Philosophy of Mind


Sandro Nannini and Hans Jörg Sandkühler

The philosophy of mind is one of the most alive research sectors in the field of philosophical studies nowadays. But there is no universal agreement on what exactly naturalism in the philosophy of mind is, and there is even less agreement on how naturalism in the philosophy of mind relates to naturalism as a general philosophical outlook. At the most general level, naturalism is often characterized by slogans such as «Everything that exists is part of the natural order», or «The methods of natural science provide the only avenue to truth», or «There is no place for a first philosophy prior to natural science». Naturalistic theories of mind explicitly or tacitly accept or presuppose the following principles: Minds (as well as consciousness, spirit or subjectivity) are part of the real world. Nature is the whole real world. Therefore minds, consciousness and subjectivity are part of the nature. Nature can be known only by empirical sciences. There is no knowledge a priori (or obtained by methods that are different from the methods of empirical sciences) of any part of nature. Therefore minds, consciousness and subjectivity, as part of the nature, can be known only by means of empirical sciences.
Contents: Dirk Koppelberg: Forms of Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind – Harald Schmidt: Trying to make an unfriendly take-over look like an offer for cooperation or: Never try to jump on a train that is pulling out of the station - some objections to Dirk Koppelberg’s cooperative naturalism – Dirk Koppelberg: Why Opt for Cooperative Naturalism? - Response to Harald Schmidt – Sandro Nannini: Cognitive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind – Jürgen Hanken: Some Objections to Sandro Nannini’s «Naturalism in the philosophy of mind» – Sandro Nannini: Response to Jürgen Hanken – Domenico Parisi: The Naturalization of Humans – Jacob Bösenberg: Comment on D. Parisi’s «The naturalization of humans» – Domenico Parisi: Response to Jacob Bösenberg – Jürgen Schröder: Naturalizing Consciousness by Reductive Explanations – Carlo Cecchetto/Luigi Rizzi: A Naturalistic Approach to Language – Achim Stephan: Reductionism and Naturalization – Geert Keil: Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind - and what is wrong with it – Jochen Holzner: Abstract and three Questions – Geert Keil: Replies – Hans Jörg Sandkühler: Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind? For a Philosophical Alternative – Christine Häßler: Some Critical Comments on Sandkühler’s Philosophical Alternative to Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind – Hans Jörg Sandkühler: Response to Christine Häßler.