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Natural PhilosophyFrom Social Brains to Knowledge, Reality, Morality, and Beauty$
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Paul Thagard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678739.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

Future Philosophy

Future Philosophy

(p.261) 10 Future Philosophy
Natural Philosophy

Paul Thagard

Oxford University Press

Philosophy hangs together by coherence relations tied to scientific evidence. Multilevel materialism in the philosophy of mind fits well bidirectionally with reliable coherentism in epistemology. Understanding the brain as operating with neural mechanisms of parallel constraint satisfaction supports and is supported by the view that knowledge is based on reliable coherence. Both of these views fit with scientific realism as the most plausible approach to metaphysics. There are internally coherent alternatives to my system of social cognitivism, such as religious philosophies that espouse faith and supernaturalism, but these are incompatible with centuries of accumulated evidence. This concluding chapter addresses three important philosophical questions that remain unresolved despite relevant advances in cognitive science: the existence of free will, the nature of mathematical knowledge, and the mental capacities of machines and nonhuman animals.

Keywords:   animal, artificial intelligence, coherence, free will, machine intelligence, mathematics, nonhuman, number, philosophy of mathematics, robot

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