Neuropragmatism: A Neurophilosophical Manifesto – Solymosi and Shook (2013)

Neuropragmatism: A Neurophilosophical Manifesto

Tibor Solymosi and John Shook https://doi.org/10.4000/ejpap.671

Abstract 

Over the past three decades, cognitive science has been making a turn towards pragmatism. Here we outline steps towards completing this turn. As a handful of cognitive scientists and philosophers have been arguing more recently, the insights of William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead are not only being re-discovered, they are also proving rather prescient in light of growing research. The new field of neuropragmatism aims to take these insights seriously and further into new directions for both pragmatism and cognitive science. In this manifesto, a brief history of the relationship between classical pragmatism and the sciences of life and mind is offered as a background for twelve proposed theses of neuropragmatism. These theses serve as general guidelines for further philosophical and scientific research. To illustrate the possibilities and consequences of this neuropragmatic framework, neuropragmatist views on traditional questions of philosophy of mind, such as the mind-body relationship, are situated among other leading philosophical perspectives, like enactive, embodied, and embedded theories of cognition and mentation. Such views, however, when taken from a neuropragmatist perspecitve, have significant consequences for the philosophical project of reconciliation be- tween what Wilfrid Sellars called the scientific and manifest images of humanity. The difference in conceptions of experience and subesequently science are crucial for understanding the difference between Sellarsian neurophilosophy and neuropragmatism, as well as how to reach rapprochement between the sciences and the humanities.

Neuropragmatism: A Neurophilosophical Manifesto