chapter  6
11 Pages

Two Versions of Non-Reductive Materialism

ByBarbara Hannan

A satisfactory version of non-reductive materialism would avoid the pitfalls associated with Donald Davidson's and Daniel C. Dennett's theories. It would clearly endorse the supervenience of mental states on brain states, and accordingly it would avoid endorsing Davidson's principle of mental anomalousness. Dennett is popularly taken to be an instrumentalist with regard to propositional attitude states. Dennett argues that attributions of beliefs and desires are 'true' in the same sense that it is 'true' that hand calculators perform arithmetical operations and in the same sense that it is 'true' that the gravitational attraction between the earth and the moon applies between the centers of gravity of those two bodies. Dennett explicitly and resolutely adopts a materialistic, scientific perspective toward both intentionality and consciousness. He clearly believes that some sort of objective theory of the nature of the mental phenomena is possible. Dennett describes intentional system theory as 'holistic logical be haviorism'.