A PhD on the EAAN, and other acronyms

I’m currently reading through part of a PhD thesis on the EAAN written in 2010 (note the rhyme there). Incidentally, I’m probably in over my head with this little project, effectively trying to take on naturalism in one of its supposedly strongest domains – the philosophies of mind and science/probability, apparently with little competent support other than Plantinga himself.

A specific which drives me near to despair: the thesis mentioned devotes (as far as I can tell) approximately a page to summarily dismissing the possibility that R is high on either Epiphenomenalism or Semantic Epiphenomenalism (SE). That seems rather quick, to say the least. Worse, the author gets Semantic Epiphenomenalism quite wrong, claiming under SE there are “links between beliefs and behaviors, but no causal links”. Actually, Semantic Epiphenomenalism according to Plantinga (Probability and Defeaters, 2003) is “belief is causally connected with behavior, but just by virtue of its neurophysiological properties and not by virtue of its content”. I wonder, how could this error get into a PhD thesis? Perhaps it’s considered a simplification, but it’s a bizarre one.

More ranting on this and related things may be added later. …




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