[SydPhil] David Macarthur @ UNSW philosophy seminar, *Friday* 11 September *10:30-12:00*

Melissa Merritt m.merritt at unsw.edu.au
Tue Sep 1 09:02:21 AEST 2015

UNSW Philosophy seminar
Friday, 11 September 10:30-12:00
Morven Brown 209

David Macarthur
"Liberal Naturalism and the Second-Personal Realm"

Scientific Naturalism is a widely popular position in contemporary metaphysics. Naturalists of this stripe are centrally concerned with what has come to be called "the placement problem": how do we find a "place" for, e.g., mind, meaning, and morals, in the scientific image of the world? In this talk I mean to argue - on the basis of distinguishing theoretical and practical versions of the scientific image - that this problem is misconceived even from within the perspective of scientific naturalism. The default position for naturalism is not Scientific Naturalism but a Liberal Naturalism which opens up the hitherto neglected realm of non-supernatural non-scientific entities. This realm arguably includes those things that are presupposed in the practice of science, e.g., people (scientists), artifacts (e.g. tables) and meaningful communication (e.g. scientific conferences and journals). The claim that these things are non-scientific depends on the idea that the correct deployment of the relevant concepts constitutively depends on what "we" take-as instances of these things as fellow speakers within a linguistic community. Liberal Naturalism thus opens up into a philosophical exploration of interpersonal space or what we might call the second-personal realm.

David Macarthur is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.  His philosophical interests are wide-ranging.  He has written articles on scepticism, pragmatism, metaphysical quietism, the meaning of naturalism, Wittgenstein, and philosophy of art and architecture.

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