CFP: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science

Submission deadline: August 2, 2019

Topic areas


DEADLINE EXTENDED to August 2, 2019

Call for Papers - Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 10

Eliminative materialism in contemporary philosophy of science

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for volume ten of Spontaneous Generations, under the theme “Eliminative Materialism in Contemporary Philosophy of Science.” Submission date: August 2, 2019

Eliminative materialism rejects the general assumption of so-called “folk psychology”-- that beliefs, desires, intentions and so on, cause behaviourand other thoughts. Something that doesn’t exist cannot cause anything at all.Difficulties harkening back to the earliest articulations of the mind-body problem persist even in the face of this view; how do we account for thoughts about things? Is a thought identical with a complex of neuronal action potentials? Electrical firings? What differentiates this thought from that thought? How do we differentiate between a memory of one’s favourite tree to climb as a child and thinking of a future chess move? While such questions enjoyed a surge of significant attention in the late 80’s and early 90’s, they have since waned in prevalence in the philosophical literature, overshadowed by discussions of how it all works. Scientists and philosophers have tried to characterize the processes, architecture, and properties that give rise to mental phenomena, while attempting to remain agnostic on the ontology of thoughts, mental objects, propositional attitudes, etc. Despite their waning popularity, questions regarding the ontology of mental posits like intentionality, propositional attitudes, and so on, persist. Thus, this issue of Spontaneous Generations will be dedicated to investigating the details, variations, and plausibility of eliminative materialism and its various opposing views.

The issue will involve a mix of peer-reviewed and invited articles. The general submission pieces will be anywhere from 3000-8000 words, and may be on any topic related to the central theme.

Appropriate topics for submissions include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What (if anything) is being eliminated in the eliminative materialist view

  • Mental causation and mental states as explanatory tools or as real referents

  • The relationship between common-sense psychology and more formalized approaches to cognition

  • Mind-brain identity and neuroscientific theories of cognition

  • Representationalism and notions of ‘computation’ employed in computational theories of mind

  • The historical context of so-called “folk psychological” explanation

  • Historical examinations of material and non-material notions of mind and/or brain

  • The role of eliminative materialist assumptions in medical practice and research programs

  • Any other topics and/or questions that impinge on the eliminative materialist debate

Submissions on any of these topics, or any other topics relating to eliminative materialism, neuropsychology, history or philosophy of mind, will be gladly received and considered for peer-review.  The deadline for submission is August 2, 2019. We expect to publish a wide variety of high quality, original, and novel pieces from both established and up-and-coming historians and philosophers of science, covering a wide variety of topics relating to eliminativism. Papers from graduate students and members of the philosophical community from under-represented groups are especially encouraged.

Please visit the journal website to submit a manuscript:

For inquiries, contact the managing editor Jessie Hall at [email protected]

Online link to this CFP:

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