Non-reductive naturalism and the vocabulary of agency
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionContemporary Pragmatism. 2013, 10 (2), . 10.1163/18758185-90000264
Carl Sachs has recently provided a helpful discussion of Richard Rorty’s thinking concerning the question of naturalism, distinguishing between two positions he terms ‘non-reductive physicalism’ and ‘pragmatic naturalism’ (Sachs 2009). The central difference between them is that the latter but not the former sees what Sachs, following Bjørn Ramberg, calls the vocabulary of agency as having a transcendental role in relation to other vocabularies. I raise some doubts about pragmatic naturalism and the reasons Sachs gives for preferring it to non-reductive physicalism, and about whether Rorty or any pragmatist naturalist should subscribe to the latter rather than the former.