Thursday, January 10, 2013

Question about Correlationism

I have a question for speculative realists about "correlationism."

If a philosophy rejects Cartesianism, especially the legacy of Cartesian dualism, then can it be correlationist? That is, if I am understanding "correlationism" correctly--and that is in question--does it not require some analogue of Cartesian dualism, correspondence theory, and correlative representation?

I ask because I am thinking about pragmatism, which rejects these things. However, it does not accept an identity of mind and world, or the notion that the distinction does not matter. My experience with object-oriented ontology leads me to suppose that some of its practioners think that the distinction of mind and world does not matter "since there's a way to escape the correlationists circle" (to paraphrase that line of thought). However, the distinction and correlationism need not be identical, and I insist that I can maintain it and make deductions about the limits of knowledge and metaphysics without falling into "correlationism." Or perhaps I just think the anti-correlationists are wrong; it's hard to nail down without a more precise definition, and that is precisely what I am asking for.


  1. Has someone written an article dedicated to parsing this? I've read "guides" before, but let me be blunt. Most responses to this question do not give sufficient detail to answer it; it's not from lack of looking that I ask this, but I also am not a specialist and therefore am likely to overlooked, e.g., "that great article that no on reads!" I'm sure we've all have had experiences like that.

  2. Leon of After Nature has briefly responded and promised an answer. He clarifies my question in a way that I should have: the issue is correlation and representation. The metaphysical principle of correlation is really not that difficult, but the implications for representation are really what I'm asking about.