Yeah, the fact that Bakker's a novelist gets the better of his nonfictional writing sometimes, I think. I mentioned this to him once when we were having our dialogues: he likes to coin phrases and use a lot of jargon. The question is whether he can formulate his model without any of that jargon. If not, his model is a house of cards. I think he can formulate most of it in plain terms, but some of his key moves may depend on equivocations, such as the move of calling folk psychological notions "illusions."

Metzinger is indeed interesting and perhaps a better writer of nonfiction. Coincidentally, Metzinger is the one who brought my blog to Bakker's attention some years ago. Specifically, my pantheistic metaphor of the flow of natural events as zombie-like, as a creeping living-death intrigued them.

As for the article's closing speculations, I've elaborated on them elsewhere, including in an article on Bakker's blog (link below). The idea is that the elimination of folk psychology is consistent with much of Buddhism, with the mystical sense that all is just indifferent, pointless causality. If we extrapolate from scientific and technological advances, we can imagine a naturalistic, transhuman or posthuman mode experience (perhaps facilitated by genetic engineering or cybernetic implants and the like) that's comparable to Buddhist enlightenment.

Bakker talks about the less sci-fi form of this transition as the "apocalypse" of cognitive science, that is, as the devastating impact of the eliminativist upshot of cog sci on our naive self-conception.

And my point is that such an apocalypse would affect not just folk psychology but the social roles of science, technology, and secular humanistic culture, in which case eliminativists lose their moral high ground against the naive folk.

This is related also to a common criticism of eliminativism, which is that this rejection of folk psychology is self-refuting if it's meant to imply that the cognitive scientific replacement of the folk conception of the self is meant to be true or right in any sense. This is the mystical aspect of eliminativism: What is the epistemic status of scientific models if all is meaningless causality? Once you allow for the emergence of real semantics for the proper crediting of scientific models, the notion that our naive self-conception is "illusory" becomes dubious.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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