Cognitive Closure (philosophy)
In philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, cognitive closure is the proposition that humans minds are constitutionally incapable of solving certain perennial philosophical problems. Owen Flanagan calls this position anti-constructive naturalism or the new mysterianism and the primary advocate of the hypothesis, Colin McGinn, calls it transcendental naturalism because it acknowledges the possibility that solutions might fall within the grasp of an intelligent non-human of some kind. According to McGinn, such philosophical questions include the mind-body problem, identity of the self, foundations of meaning, free will, and knowledge, both a priori and empirical.
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“Ideas are so much flat psychological surface unless some mirrored matter gives them cognitive lustre. This is why as a pragmatist I have so carefully posited reality ab initio, and why throughout my whole discussion, I remain an epistemologist realist.”
—William James (18421910)