From philosophy of science to philosophy of literature (and back) via philosophy of mind: Philip Kitcher's philosophical pendulum

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Theoria (Spain), ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 28, Issue: 2, Page: 257-264

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Bence Nanay
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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A recent focus of Philip Kitcher's research has been, somewhat surprisingly in the light of his earlier work, the philosophical analyses of literary works and operas. Some may see a discontinuity in Kitcher's oeuvre in this respect-it may be difficult to see how his earlier contributions to philosophy of science relate to this much less mainstream approach to philosophy. The aim of this paper is to show that there is no such discontinuity: Kitcher's contributions to the philosophy of science and his more recent endeavors into the philosophy of literature and of music are grounded in the same big picture attitude towards the human mind-an attitude that he would undoubtedly call 'pragmatic': one that emphasizes the importance of those mental processes that are not (or not entirely) rational.

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