Road(s) to Codicalism

Positivism (according to Rorty) is a form of Platonism: It just replaces one form of idealization with another.
(page xiii, Platonists, Positivists, and Pragmatists)

Instrumentalism (from Dewey) became Neopragmatism (or Linguistic Pragmatism, from Rorty) becomes Codicalism.

    Instrumentalism → Neopragmatism [+Ironism] → Codicalism

Rorty’s pragmatism is also referred to as nonreductive physicalism, by which he meant that everything is physical, but a language of one domain may not necessarily be (usefully) translatable or compilable to a language of a “lower” domain.

A physicalist account of mathematics is here:
Physico-formalist philosophy of mathematics

Like Tegmark’s Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) — though he contradicts MUH repeatedly himself — Ontic Structural Realism (OSR) is a hyper-platonism that is anti-materialism (and anti-physicalism, the more modern way of putting it).

Opposite of Codicalism, MUH and OSR put the cart (of mathematics, languages, models, etc.) before the (physical, material) horse rather than the other way around!

Paul Feyerabend’s ‘doctrine of ineffability’

precludes any one ‘theory’, ‘worldview’, or, more broadly, one set of epistemic activities, from ‘Platonizing’ themselves, and asserting their ‘hard realist’ credentials.

does not deny the existence of a mind-independent reality, but insists that absolute knowledge about this ultimate reality is impossible. Reality itself is ineffable but “reacts” to the plurality of different approaches. While the sciences can yield “manifest realities,” the mistake of many scientists is to reify them as primary and unique. Against this scientific realism, Feyerabend advocates a more humble interpretation of our access to that ultimate reality.


“Feyerabend on the Ineffability of Reality”
Ian James Kidd

“Late Feyerabend against Scientific Realism”
Eric C. Martin

The Abundant World: Paul Feyerabend’s Metaphysics of Science
Matthew J. Brown


In codicalism (yin = the substrate, yang = languages), the substrate corresponds to the ineffable ‘ultimate reality’ in Feyerabend’s (and in Kant’s and Wittgenstein’s) vocabulary, providing the grounding our languages require.

Completing the diagram (combining Rortian and Kantian strains):


    Instrumentalism → Neopragmatism [+Ironism]         (languages)
            Transcendentalism    →         Ineffabilism         (the substrate)


— the informational world meets the phenomenological world.


cf. The substrate and the sublime (re: Kant)


Codicalism as (Victor J.) Stengerism:

languages: Vic’s modelism – it’s models all the way up and down – cf:
the substrate: Vic’s materialism – atoms and the void –

other?: nonphysical minds and consciousnesses, platonistic mathematical domains, …


Philip Thrift


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s