4 Surviving Eliminativism

Throughout the previous chapters the assumption that we are human organisms has been in the background. This assumption is now about to take centre to make a few remarks in support of it. I am (all too) aware that my remarks won't persuade everyone. They aren't intended to. They are meant to show only why the assumption that we are human organisms is so natural.

I think that when you look in a mirror, or down at your hands, you can actually see yourself. And when you hold your child, you do exactly that—hold the child himself or herself—and not some stand neither seen nor held. These claims also imply that human persons are neither mental states nor akin to software. Such software—as opposed to the hardware on which it 'runs'—could be neither seen nor held; similarly for mental states. 1

Some think that persons are physical objects co-located with organisms. Such a view allows persons to be seen and held.

-85-

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Objects and Persons
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Objects and Persons iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1: Explaining Eliminativism 1
  • 2: Considerations in Favour of Eliminativism 30
  • 3: Epiphenomenalism and Eliminativism 56
  • 4: Surviving Eliminativism 85
  • 5: Considerations in Favour of Eliminating Us? 118
  • 6: Mental Causation and Free Will 138
  • 7: Belief and Practice 162
  • References 191
  • Index 201
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