Eliminative materialism

the claim that people's common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology) is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist

Eliminative materialism is the claim that psychological concepts of behaviour and experience should be judged by how well they reduce to the biological level.


  • To deny consciousness ... is a relief to an overtaxed and self-impeded generation; it seems a blessed simplification. It gets rid of the undemocratic notion that by being very reflective, circumspect and subtle you might discover something that most people do not see.
    • George Santayana, “Philosophical opinion in America,” The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy (1967), p. 108

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