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How can we make science of cognition? The problem of the scientific method in cognitive sciences from the perspective of the anti-reductionist naturalism of Quine and Sellars' epistemologies

Grant number: 23/04313-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Epistemology
Principal Investigator:Silvio Seno Chibeni
Grantee:Fernanda Caroliny Cardoso
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This is a bibliographic research project and, therefore, of theoretical nature. Its main objective is to caracterize and articulate the concepts of science and cognition based on Quine and Sellars' naturalized epistemologies, which combine naturalism and anti-reductionism, to conceptually establish the possibility of scientifically understanding cognition. Thus, we intend to explore how quinean and sellarsian epistemologies contributes to addressing the problem of how it is possible to have scientific knowledge about an object of investigation that is inherently subjective: cognition. In the project's literature review, we first clarify the type of question we are interested in investigating when we address the issue of scientifically understanding cognition. Then, we trace the origins of contemporary naturalism in the history of philosophy, starting with modern British empiricism. We briefly explain the development of empiricism into logical positivism and then introduce post-logical positivism, reaching Quine's naturalism, and subsequently Sellars', aiming to justify our interest in researching whether their epistemologies can help elucidate the problem of the scientific method in cognitive sciences. At the end of the literature review, we contextualize our research within the debate between computationalism and enactivism in philosophy of mind, situated in the broader context of the dispute between mechanism and organicism, in order to indicate how we intend to benefit from some of the results of research previously undertaken by us.

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