An Alex Rosenberg interview

by Neil Rickert

This post is mainly to point you to an interesting interview with Alex Rosenberg.

which was brought to my attention by Brian Leiter’s blog post.

Rosenberg is a materialist/ naturalist/ physicalist — perhaps we could say that he is a die-hard materialist.  And in this interview, he explains his reductive naturalism.  I am on record as not being a materialist (or physicalist or naturalist).  So you can look to Rosenberg to express some of the views from which I dissent.

I am undecided on whether to have a full post about Rosenberg’s views.  In the meantime, here are a couple of quotes:

How to reconcile physicalism and antireductionism remains a vexed question in biology, in psychology, and of course among metaphysicians as well.

That pretty much summarizes why I am not a materialist or a physicalist.  Namely, I am not a reductionist, and materialism without reductionism does not seem to have any implications worth valuing.

Intentionality—the aboutness of propositional thoughts: a half century of the philosophy of psychology and we still haven’t figured out how it is even possible.

And this is where reductionism fails.

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