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The view that the terms in which we think of some area are sufficiently infected with error for it to be better to abandon them than to continue to try to give coherent theories of their use. Eliminativism should be distinguished from scepticism, which claims that we cannot know the truth about some area; eliminativism claims rather that there is no truth there to be known, in the terms with which we currently think. An eliminativist about theology simply counsels abandoning the terms or discourse of theology, and that will include abandoning worries about the extent of theological knowledge. Eliminativists in the philosophy of mind counsel abandoning the whole network of terms mind, consciousness, self, qualia that usher in the problems of mind and body. Sometimes the argument for doing this is that we should wait for a supposed future understanding of ourselves, based on cognitive science and better than any our current mental descriptions provide; sometimes it is supposed that physicalism shows that no mental descriptions of ourselves could possibly be true.

Subjects: Philosophy

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