Art, Food and Other Cultural Entities: A Pragmatic Metaphysics
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In this dissertation I defend a pragmatic metaphysics of culture built around the core notions of embodiment and emergence. The resulting metaphysics is both naturalistic and non-reductive. I argue that in virtue of their possession of cultural properties, which require encultured human selves for their creation and perception, cultural entities cannot be reduced to the physical objects by which they are partially constituted. Rather than resulting in a dualism between the cultural world and the physical world, I argue for the continuity of the two. This point has historical precedence in the naturalistic metaphysics of John Dewey. While grounded in the tradition of American Pragmatism, by drawing examples from recent debates in the philosophy of art, and providing a novel application to emerging trends in gastronomy, this project extends beyond the historical limitations of classical Pragmatism. In short, I argue for a variety of naturalism that can resolve the conceptual puzzles of the cultural world without resorting to a physicalist ontology.