Can reference be naturalized? -Notes toward an integrational(誠) causality

Philosophy Study 6 (5):289-304 (2016)
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As physicalisms of various kinds have faced difficulties in recent years, the time has come to explore possible alternatives, one of which is yinyang ontology. A yinyang theorist is expected to provide a plausible account of causation to replace the traditional notion of causation. The present paper is critical of the Humean tradition, which understands the relata of causal relations in terms of passive materiality so that humans use referential terms to describe causal relations constructively. But an alternative notion of reference is available according to which causal relata are active processors of the information with which they interact. On this latter view, humans use referential language to describe the structure in which the relata interrelate themselves so that the structure can be understood hermeneutically. Reference on this view is naturalized. In this article I advance two arguments for this thesis, one concerning the informationality of states and the other related to the essentiality of properties.

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