Richard Rorty’s Philosophy of Mind as a Metaphilosophical Project
This article argues that Rorty’s philosophy of mind is possible as a metaphilosophical project. It trespasses the limits of physicalism and yet opposes philosophical scholasticism. Rorty’s physicalism is grounded on a metaphilosophical motivation and aims to show that physical descriptions protect against unjustified pretensions to a transcendentally engaged, considered to be objective, universally applicable knowing. While defending Rorty’s eliminativism from criticism aimed at his presupposed scientism, the article discusses the possibility of “mind” as an empty concept. The article concludes that, in the context of Rorty’s philosophy, the concept of mind should be considered as idealistic and naturalistic, not indicating any concrete content and therefore immune to materialistic criticism. However, despite the physical vocabulary aimed at expanding the problematics of mind, the full self-knowledge at which the scientific knowledge is aimed is unachieved. This leaves space for philosophical, theological and descriptions of mind.
Key Words: metaphilosophy, philosophy of mind, physicalism, Richard Rorty.