Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy

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Metaphilosophical pessimism of C. McGinn

Pavlov Aleksey S., Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov

This article is dedicated to the metaphilosophical pessimism of C. McGinn. McGinn is known as a main proponent of “new mysterianism” in the contemporary analytic philosophy of mind. According to mysterianism, we can’t solve the mind-body problem because of the natural cognitive limitations on our side. McGinn’s view on the nature of philosophy is the component of this conception. In general, mysterian metaphilosophy didn’t get enough coverage in the research literature but it deserves a bigger interest. McGinn argues that philosophy is actually a combination of unsolvable problems. He identifies the scientific/philosophical demarcation criterion as the potential solvability for the human mind. However, this metaphilosophical position faces serious difficulties. At first, if the objections of U. Kriegel and D. Dennett are right and the mysterian cognitive closure thesis is not sufficiently proved, then the termination of research on a number of philosophical issues may also be an unreasoned decision. Secondly, there is a threat of performative contradiction. But we could try to explain this contradiction by considering the style of analytic philosophy itself which is characterized by dialogical form and free dealing with the ideas considered as possible options. In the article, the standard methods of historicophilosophical investigation are used including the comparative analysis and the principle of objective analysis of a text in the work with sources.

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