Theistic Evolution – The Judas Iscariot Effect?

I have always been puzzled by the theistic evolution belief system. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all as it clearly seems to contradict both theism and evolution – the two fundamental beliefs it is supposedly be based on…

Why?

In short, theistic evolution totally contradicts the act of creation clearly described in the bible so cherished by the great majority of believers…
Theistic evolution also seems to contradict the fundamental evolutionary belief that evolution is a random and an unguided process…

While there may be, and probably are, many variations to the theistic evolution belief system, the general idea most likely is that God either created the laws governing the universe for life to create itself and then evolve to 10 billion species we apparently have on Earth today, or He created the first “simple” life form and let it evolve, through some kind of Darwinian process (either guided or unguided), such as random mutations and natural selection…

In any case, no matter how one can look at theistic evolution, its supporters seem to want to have the better or the best of two worlds. They would like to be respected by both theists and evolution supporters… In my view, theistic evolutionists sit on the fence between theism and evolution belief systems and can, and should, “get shot” by both sides…In other words, they should be rejected by both sides of the worldviews because of their obvious inconsistencies…

Theistic evolutionists belong to the large group of people who I call The Swedish Buffet Belief System. They want to believe in something but they would like to pick and choose themselves what they are going to believe. They want to decide what that “the truth” is going to be…

Theistic evolutionists (and many believers today as well) remind of the lyrics of one of the songs by Benjamin Booker entitled “Believe”:

“I just want to believe in something
I don’t care if right or wrong
I just want to believe in something
I cannot make it on my own”

In any case, theistic evolution has what I call The Judas Iscariot Effect written all over it. According to the bible, Judas Iscariot was Jesus’ apostle who, just like theistic evolutionists, wanted the best of both worlds. He was following Jesus, saw many of his miracles first hand, and yet, he also decided to make a few bucks on the side by cooperating with Jesus’ enemies and sold him for 30 pieces of silver…

In my view, theistic evolution has a trademark Judas Iscariot. Its supporters like to have the best of both worlds:
the theistic world support to view them as believers in God, and the so-called scientific world of evolutionary scientists…

As I have already mentioned it at the outset, just like Judas Iscariot, theistic evolutionists are sitting on the fence between theism and evolution, and should “get shot” from both sides of the worldviews…
After realizing his mistake of trying to play both sides of the worldviews, Judas Iscariot committed a suicide…

I personally think that theistic evolutionists “commit both religious and scientific suicides” by promoting both religious and scientific inaccuracies… just to put it very lightly…

One of the prefect examples of such inaccuracies is the promotion of the many of unfounded speculation that Adam and Eve could not have been the only two human parents of the whole human race… This unfounded notions recently got some unnecessary attention from Biologos “born-again” theistic evolutionist Dennis R. Venema by means of his book… These inaccuracies however have been exposed by a biologist Richard Buggs and some others…

BTW: If anyone, including theistic evolutionists, has some ideas how to experimentally test the unfounded speculations based on pure assumptions, such as human mutation rate now must equal Adam and Eve’s mutation rate or how to challenge the sharp population bottleneck of 8 people after Noah’s flood, please speak up…
There may be some data available of some sharp bottleneck, isolated populations recently discovered in the Amazon, as well as others, such as Inuit, Bushman and the like…

199 thoughts on “Theistic Evolution – The Judas Iscariot Effect?

  1. J-Mac: Why would you question the pursuit of truth in science? Do you prefer the alternative, such as the support of preconceived ideas?

    I think Neil’s position is more like science works but that says nothing about whether it is true.

    Are you familiar with Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? He is coming from a similar place. There is at least one thread about it on TSZ.

    (BTW, I agree with you: science does yield truth and further it is virtuous to seek truth).

  2. Neil Rickert: If science were the pursuit of truth, it should scrap the gas laws (and scrap a lot of other physics, too). But if science is primarily pragmatic, then it should keep those laws because of their usefulness.

    A map is not the territory, but it is nevertheless useful?

  3. Haha. Table of Contents. (I am soft.)

    I’ll try to upload the references here.

     The-Roots-of-Representationism-References.pdf

  4. Hmmm. I see the bolded name of the file, but…..

    ETA: I now see that if you go in through the dashboard, there’s a link. (Haven’t tried it so I don’t know what you get.)

  5. BruceS: I think Neil’s position is more like science works but that says nothing about whether it is true.

    Are you familiar with Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism?He is coming from a similar place.There is at least one thread about it on TSZ.

    (BTW, I agree with you:science does yield truth and further it is virtuous to seek truth).

    Why do science then? If I were working on the research of prostate cancer cells, and I applied, what Neil believes is true, shouldn’t the prostate cancer patients have the right to execute me? I’d say yes if they had put their trust in me to save their lives…

  6. J-Mac: If I were working on the research of prostate cancer cells, and I applied, what Neil believes is true, shouldn’t the prostate cancer patients have the right to execute me?

    I’m not sure what it is that you take me to believe is true. But you are probably about that.

    In any case, you have missed the point. The cancer patient wants his cancer to be cured. So he want the scientist to come up with a therapy that works. He doesn’t much care whether that therapy can be said to be true. What matters is that it works.

  7. Neil Rickert: Agreed.But maps (I’m thinking of road maps) do not provide truth; they provide guidance.

    They can be accurate or inaccurate, current or out of date.

    But the relevant concept is that one cannot prove something about the territory by referring to the map.

    But with a good map, one can navigate safely.

    Scientific theories are not truth, but used as maps, one can fly airplanes and spacecraft, modify genomes, make digital watches.

  8. Neil Rickert: I disagree with Davidson.

    Yes, I thought so.
    I looked at the paper again and I see he actually does use Saturnians and Plutonians as examples, so maybe I spoke too soon about what he would think about alien languages.

    It does seem the conceptual scheme for planets has changed (in a small way) since he wrote that paper.

    We’ve reached the same impasse we’ve been at before, Neil, but through a different route. And without a map. Since it’s the journey not the destination, that’s fine.

  9. J-Mac: Why do science then? If I were working on the research ofprostate cancer cells, and I applied,what Neil believes is true, shouldn’t the prostate cancer patients have the right to execute me? I’d say yes if they had put their trust in me to save their lives…

    I don’t know a lot of scientists* , but I think that it their hearts they are all realists: that is they think there is a real world and they are finding out true things about how it really is (and not just exploring what works under a human conceptual scheme). That motivates them.

    But aside from motivation, does truth in science make any difference to its effectiveness helping us to explain, control, and predict the consequences of action in the world? Many philosophers (and retired mathematicians) would say no, it does not.

    ————————–
    * Actually, I only know one scientist on a first name basis. And I only know her through TSZ.

  10. walto:
    Hmmm. I see the bolded name of the file, but…..

    ETA: I now see that if you go in through the dashboard, there’s a link. (Haven’t tried it so I don’t know what you get.)

    Thanks, took a look. Seems to be mostly older papers; is it fair to say there is a lot about how Hall influenced these authors from a generation or two after him?

  11. petrushka: They can be accurate or inaccurate, current or out of date.

    But the relevant concept is that one cannot prove something about the territory by referring to the map.

    But with a good map, one can navigate safely.

    Scientific theories are not truth, but used as maps, one can fly airplanes and spacecraft, modify genomes, make digital watches.

    But what if you found a way to produce maps that consistently predicted the details of places no one had ever been? That is a start at the analogy to the no-miracles argument.

  12. BruceS: But what if you found a way to produce maps that consistently predicted the details of places no one had ever been? That is a start at the analogy to the no-miracles argument.

    It’s more like having a map with missing key unexplored sections and dogmatically assuming that the territory in those unexplored sections is just like the territory in the sections you do have.

    Sort of the opposite of the “here be dragons” parts of medieval maps.

    What is interesting about those maps is that when we explored we did not find the dragons but we did not find things to be exactly like the rest of the map either.

    peace

  13. BruceS: But what if you found a way to produce maps that consistently predicted the details of places no one had ever been?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equations

    That’s really what physical scientists work toward.

    But all such formulas are approximations. There are no equations that work always at extreme conditions. And there is no precedent suggesting that such formulas are likely to exist.

  14. BruceS: I don’t know a lot of scientists* , but I think that it their hearts they are all realists: that is they think there is a real world and they are finding out true things about how it really is (and not just exploring what works under a human conceptual scheme). That motivates them.

    I agree with this.

    The question that J-Mac asked indicates that he does not understand what I mean when I say that science is pragmatic, and not the pursuit of truth.

    Let’s look at J-Mac’s example of prostate cancer. And let’s suppose that we start early in the game before much is known about prostate cancer.

    J-Mac could as a zillion questions, to try to find what is true. That would be something like the pursuit of truth.

    The scientist would probably respond with “WTF does that even mean? Those questions are pure gibberish.”

    So the scientist studies prostate cancer. But he isn’t look for truth. He is looking to try to understand what is going on. As he begins to understand, the scientist invents new terminology to describe what he is learning. And that new terminology introduces new concepts. The scientist comes up with standards on how to use the new terminology. Maybe the scientist gets lucky and finds a cure. But that isn’t the scientist’s main goal. The scientist is looking to understand.

    At the end of the research the scientist can now say a lot about prostate cancer. But what he says will involve those new concepts that he has come up with.

    Perhaps the new terminology just happens to coincide with the gibberish words that J-Mac used in his initial zillion questions. And maybe those can now be answered. But the point is that if we examine those questions without the new knowledge and new concepts, then those questions are still gibberish. We can only make sense of them because of the new understanding and new concepts.

    The expression “pursuit of truth” suggests that we are working with existing concepts and attempting to find relations between them that can be expressed in true sentences using only those existing concepts. That’s roughly what journalism does. It is not what science does.

    The science has come up with a new understanding, and with new concepts to express that new understanding. And yes, the new understanding can now be expressed in true sentences using those new concepts. But this isn’t the pursuit of truth. This is the creation of new truth (previously unavailable truth) expressed with new concepts.

    J-Mac seems to be interpreting me as saying “science doesn’t give a damn about truth”. But that’s not at all what I am saying. Rather, I am saying that “the pursuit of truth” seriously mis-describes what motivates and inspires scientists.

  15. Neil Rickert: J-Mac seems to be interpreting me as saying “science doesn’t give a damn about truth”. But that’s not at all what I am saying. Rather, I am saying that “the pursuit of truth” seriously mis-describes what motivates and inspires scientists.

    Bruce informs me (I think) that according to somebody I’m sharing that JP issue with, it’s the search for “credit.”

  16. BruceS: Thanks, took a look.Seems to be mostly older papers; is it fair to say there is a lot about how Hall influenced these authors from a generation or two after him?

    A lot of the book (a third maybe?) is BY Hall. Maybe another quarter is specifically about his work. Two of the contributions–those by Dretske and Thomasson–don’t even mention his name. Those are both great papers which you should definitely read, but you can get them through JSTOR. The main stuff in it on what you guys are currently talking about is my paper on cognitive predicaments, which is party about and partly inspired by Hall (and Wittgenstein and Tarski).

  17. walto: Bruce informs me (I think) that according to somebody I’m sharing that JP issue with, it’s the search for “credit.”

    Credit and ;[ETA: after a bit more thought, better so say expanding scientific knowledge, not seeking truth]. As I recall, the paper uses expected utility models to look at trade-offs. Leisure time also is part of the analysis of scientists working alone . I’m just going by memory.

  18. walto:e by Dretske and Thomasson–don’t even mention his name. Those are both great papers which you should definitely read, but you can get them through JSTOR. T

    OK Thanks. The Dretske paper seems to be on Chalmers site but I’ll check JSTOR too. I wonder if that mental causation paper overlaps the ideas in the first chapter of ordinary objects on causal overdetermination; I’ll give it a quick look.

    I’ll wait for you to upload your paper when you choose to do so.

  19. BruceS: OK Thanks.The Dretske paper seems to be on Chalmers site but I’ll check JSTOR too.I wonder if that mental causation paper overlaps the ideas in the first chapter of ordinary objects on causal overdetermination; I’ll give it a quick look.

    I’ll wait for you to upload your paper when you choose to do so.

    The Dretske paper is a classic, so it’s probably everywhere. And the Thomasson paper is similar (if not the same) as the stuffin Ordinary Objects. Incidentally, she has a new paper–continuing her fight with Yablo on “easy knowledge” that she links to on her academia page. I’d hoped she might discuss my paper, but I think hers predates mine.

  20. petrushka: That’s really what physical scientists work toward.

    But all such formulas are approximations. There are no equations that work always at extreme conditions. And there is no precedent suggesting that such formulas are likely to exist.

    I think that in general this approach is a good idea but it at times leads to spending too much time at dead ends.

    The current tedious fixation with dark matter and dark energy are prime examples of this imo. I would throw in much of the origin of life research and possibly explanations for irreducible complexity as well.

    ETA: “extreme conditions” are just where miracles might be an appropriate explanation

    peace

  21. Neil Rickert: J-Mac seems to be interpreting me as saying “science doesn’t give a damn about truth”. But that’s not at all what I am saying. Rather, I am saying that “the pursuit of truth” seriously mis-describes what motivates and inspires scientists.

    Yes, “science” does care about “truth”as long as that “truth” supports the preconceived assumptions, or as Lawontin put it, prior commitment, such as materialism…

    “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen. “
    -Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist and one of the world’s leaders in evolutionary biology.

    It is quite baffling how a relatively small group of people has been able to implement this kind of ideology into the world of science and education and bully anyone who dared to challenge this ideology…

    There is no difference between Darwinian ideology and Communism, Nazism or any other tyrannical rule by the iron fist…

    The minority bullies the majority into their ideology or beliefs system they call “science”…

    You are just one of the many naïve ones, who implements optimism bias, or as mung put it, confirmation bias, and choose to believe a veiled lie as “truth…

    “A lie repeated often enough becomes true”… – said the best propaganda man of the Nazis…” …and you may even find yourself believing it…”

  22. This is even more off-topic than we’re already at, given the OP, but I’ve been trying to take a more sustained interest in the cognition-as-map theory. There’s a really interesting old paper on this, “Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men by Edward Tolman. Tolman does not say that all cognition is basically map-like, but he is interested in how map-like representations (not a word he uses) can guide behavior. The next chunk of my research will be tracing the intellectual history that runs from philosophers (James and Royce) through psychologists (Edwin Holt and Edward Tolman) back to philosophers (Sellars) and then to philosophy of cognitive science (the so-called “right-wing Sellarsians”).

    This summer I experimented with a distinction between “categorial cognition” and “non-categorial cognition”. The basic idea is that categories aren’t necessary for map-like cognitive representations. But I’m a long way from having a good theory about this.

  23. walto: Bruce informs me (I think) that according to somebody I’m sharing that JP issue with, it’s the search for “credit.”

    But credit for what?

    I suspect that early successes with ballistics and heat engines and synthetic dyes led a lot of people to think they were uncovering TRVTH.

  24. J-Mac: It is quite baffling how a relatively small group of people has been able to implement this kind of ideology into the world of science and education and bully anyone who dared to challenge this ideology…

    I have never endorsed that often quoted Lewontin statement about materialism. And I don’t recall ever being bullied about that.

  25. Neil Rickert:

    The expression “pursuit of truth” suggests that we are working with existing concepts and attempting to find relations between them that can be expressed in true sentences using only those existing concepts.T

    Not to me, it doesn’t.

    But you are in the neighborhood of the philosophical issue of how scientific realists about entities and kinds can justify continuity of reference when terms seem to change reference, eg Eisenstein time versus Newtonian time as a simple case.

    One reason to do so is to avoid the pessimistic meta-induction. Some, like Putnam, try to do so; others dodge the issue with realism about structures instead of entities. The latter is my preference, at least on on weekdays.

  26. Kantian Naturalist:

    This summer I experimented with a distinction between “categorial cognition” and “non-categorial cognition”. The basic idea is that categories aren’t necessary for map-like cognitive representations. But I’m a long way from having a good theory about this.

    How is non-categorial content different from non-conceptual content?

    I’m starting on Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models which from first glances is using directed acyclic graphs, ie circles connected with single arrowhead arrows.

    And if you are in the mood, could you take a look at this question at end of linked post.

  27. walto: I assume for being wicked smaht, and for getting that cushy job in London. But to be sure, ask Bruce.

    Mostly for being the first to publish new ideas. Nobel prizes are nice too.
    Talking about research, not development. For devt, I guess $ is what people want.

  28. BruceS: Mostly for being the first to publish new ideas. Nobel prizes are nice too.
    Talking about research, not development. For devt, I guess $ is what people want.

    Cynicism is always warranted, but the underlying question is, what kind of ideas get you fame, jobs and prizes.

    My question is whether winning ideas are TRUE, or are they useful.

  29. petrushka: My question is whether winning ideas are TRUE, or are they useful.

    IMO, sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both, sometimes neither.

  30. Kantian Naturalist: There’s a really interesting old paper on this, “Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men by Edward Tolman.

    Yes, that’s interesting. And I agree that there seems to be something akin to map formation in some of those experiments.

    What I found particularly interesting, was the section of VTE (vicarious trial & error). Tolman seems surprised that there is more VTEing for easy tasks than for hard ones. But that’s about what I would expect. I would say that is concept formation, and the rats are VTEing to test their new concepts.

    The basic idea is that categories aren’t necessary for map-like cognitive representations.

    The apparent concept formation would lead me to doubt your basic idea.

  31. Neil Rickert: I have never endorsed that often quoted Lewontin statement about materialism.And I don’t recall ever being bullied about that.

    You are so naïve, Neil!
    If we publish a paper in which we would shed doubt that evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory, or even a scientific hypothesis, do your really believe that Darwinian Gestapo is going to let it go?
    Do you really believe that Darwinists will say: Bravo! Please continue your research and experiments that can further disprove evolutionary theory or even evolutionary hypothesis…

    Darwinism is more than an ideology…
    I’m planning to cover this theme in more details in one of my upcoming OPs…

  32. J-Mac: If we publish a paper in which we would shed doubt that evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory, or even a scientific hypothesis, do your really believe that Darwinian Gestapo is going to let it go?

    I doubt that you are ever going to publish such a paper.

  33. BruceS: How is non-categorial content different from non-conceptual content?

    It might be a similar issue from a different perspective. But the non-conceptual content debate is such a complete mess!

    In any event, what I really want to think about is the biological function of categories and their role in language.

    I’m starting on Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models which from first glances is using directed acyclic graphs, ie circles connected with single arrowhead arrows.

    Oh, cool! I’ve read really exciting things about Danks’s project. I don’t have all the maths to follow it but the way it was explained to me was very intriguing. It may be much more promising that predictive processing as a model of the hierarchical structure of cognitive/cortical organization.

    And if you are in the mood, could you take a look at this question at end of linked post.

    You’d asked

    I have a question about your statement that claiming a theory is true of reality is nonsense. Is that position based on Carnapian deflationism of metaphysics? Or is it a based on a version of Ladyman/Ross Rainforest Realism which I take as saying claims of realism/truth must be made within the domain of a science and be based on that science’s conceptual scheme. Or something else?

    I was primarily thinking of treatments, following Ramsey, of taking truth to be a semantic concept alone. The deflationists take “is true” to be defined only relative to a language or conceptual scheme. The rainforest realism of Ross and Ladyman is based on Ross’s work on Dennett, which is (I believe) much more Sellarsian than most folks recognize. What Sellars would have us do (I think) is say on the one hand that there’s a semantic concept of truth, which is nicely captured by various deflationary approaches (e.g. the prosentential approach) and yet also there’s something very much like a non-semantic concept of truth — “correspondence” — which involves ideas like representational adequacy.

    In short, I am more than completely happy to say that some theories are better maps or models of causal/modal structure than others — my qualms are of a strictly picayune nature, as to whether we should use the word “truth” to talk about that, given the apparent success of semantic theories of truth.

  34. petrushka:
    How about something non-trivial?

    Since the discussion was about what motivates scientists.

    David Wallace:

    Nobody seriously believes that ‘dinosaurs’ are just a calculational device intended to tell us about fossils; everyone knows that the purpose of palaeontology is to make certain factual claims about certain aspects of the world (in this case, aspects in the past). And furthermore, since we have good reason to think that our best theory of dinosaurs is a pretty good theory, we have good reason to think that the claims it makes about the world are more or less true.

    Paleontologists want to be able to make claims about dinosaurs, not about the best places to find fossils. Some are partly motivated by finding new species.

  35. Kantian Naturalist:

    In any event, what I really want to think about is the biological function of categories and their role in language.

    OK, thanks. I know Millikan works in that area, but I have not explored her work there. I believe you’ve read much of her work. If you have not seen it, you might find Writing on Philosophy: It’s Not Rocket Science. It’s More Complicated Than That.which uses a passage from her as a an example (and has good things to say about it)..

    It seems to be that there is a lot of mutual respect among psychologists, neuroscientists, and the philosophers who look at the domains of these scientists. OTOH, from the little I’ve seen, linguists and philosophers of language have little engagement and little positive to say about each other’s work.

    I’ve read really exciting things about Danks’s project. I don’t have all the maths to follow it but the way it was explained to me was very intriguing. It may be much more promising that predictive processing as a model of the hierarchical structure of cognitive/cortical organization.

    From skimming the book, the math seems to be mostly Bayes rule as applies to Pearl’s causal networks. Pearl recently co-wrote a nice intro to this work. The relation to the PP stuff also interests me and I’ll read the book with that in mind.

    I was primarily thinking of treatments, following Ramsey, of taking truth to be a semantic concept alone.. The rainforest realism of Ross and Ladyman is based on Ross’s work on Dennett, which is (I believe) much more Sellarsian than most folks recognize.

    Co-incidentally, I’m just starting O’Shea’s chapter on Sellars scientific realism. I had not realized van Fraassen was one of his students and that Sellars engaged with his ideas (I had thought Sellars would be dealing mostly with the positivists).

    In short, I am more than completely happy to say that some theories are better maps or models of causal/modal structure than others — my qualms are of a strictly picayune nature, as to whether we should use the word “truth” to talk about that, given the apparent success of semantic theories of truth.

    So the question to explore in detail would be how one can be a deflationist and a scientific realist. But I’ve leave that for another time.

  36. petrushka:

    My question is whether winning ideas are TRUE, or are they useful.

    I don’t understand why you think there is an “or”.

    To explain my example about maps better. Maps are useful for getting around. But, as I said, what if we had a method of drawing maps that yielded predictions about the details of places no one had ever visited. I say that means that the method is produces maps that tell us about the world as represented in those maps.

    The scientific method yields theories useful for prediction. But the theories also yield novel predictions that are often verified. It might seem a miracle that so many unexpected predictions are verified. But no miracle is needed. Only that theories capture something true about the world.

    .

  37. BruceS: OTOH, from the little I’ve seen, linguists and philosophers of language have little engagement and little positive to say about each other’s work.

    Did you look at the paper I linked by Bach?

  38. BruceS,

    Right. Psillos’s book is very good on this stuff. Of course, Petrushka won’t read a philosophy book. He’s got everything all figured out without them.

  39. BruceS: Co-incidentally, I’m just starting O’Shea’s chapter on Sellars scientific realism. I had not realized van Fraassen was one of his students and that Sellars engaged with his ideas (I had thought Sellars would be dealing mostly with the positivists).

    Sellars’s philosophical output ranges from the early 1940s to the very beginning of the 1980s. At the beginning he’s mostly in dialogue with Carnap, though he was also deeply influenced by Ryle, C. I. Lewis, Wittgenstein (early and late), Strawson, and quite a few others. So you’re right that he’s dealing with the positivists at the beginning.

    But he remains in productive dialogue with many of his students and others who found value in Sellars’s work: Feyerabend, van Fraassen, Churchland, Dennett, and Rorty. But by the end of his career his advanced alcoholism made him a difficult colleague and interlocutor (to be mild about it), and he didn’t have warm relations with Brandom or McDowell.

    So the question to explore in detail would be how one can be a deflationist and a scientific realist. But I’ve leave that for another time.

    Yes, I think that’s a really interesting question!

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