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According to Carruthers’ (2006) massive modularity (MM) thesis, the central systems of the mind are widely encapsulated and operate via heuristics and approximation techniques similar to those found in computer science. It follows from this, he claims, that widely encapsulated central systems are feasibly tractable. I argue that insofar as Carruthers uses this weakened definition of encapsulation, his thesis faces a dilemma: either is a misnomer (Prinz, 2006) and therefore unrecognisable as a version of MM, or it isn’t, and must put forward a convincing version of MM (Samuels, 2006). I claim that Carruthers’ commitment to this claim about central systems meets this challenge by adopting an understanding of central systems whose information-frugal and processing-frugal operations allow for feasible tractability. I conclude that the CWT provides a plausible and distinctive account of MM.
The Verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress (VS, for short) is traditionally considered a realist-correspondist model to explain the proximity of our best scientific theories to the way things really are in the world out there (ʻthe Truthʻ, with the capital ʻtʻ). However, VS is based on notions, such as ʻestimated verisimilitudeʻ or ʻapproximate truthʻ, that dilute the model in a functionalist-like theory. My thesis, then, is that VS tries to incorporate notions, such as ʻprogressʻ, in a pre-constituted metaphysical conception of the world, but fails in providing a fitting framework. The main argument that I will develop to support this claim is that the notions that they use to explain scientific progress (ʻestimated verisimilitudeʻ or ʻapproximate truthʻ) have nothing to do with ʻthe Truthʻ. After presenting Cevolani and Tamboloʻs answer (2013) to Birdʻs arguments (2007), I will claim that VS sacrifices the realist-correspondist truth in favor of an epistemic notion of truth, which can obviously be compatible with certain kinds of realism but not with the one the authors have in mind (the correspondence between our theories and the way things really are).