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There is No Question of Physicalism

Mind 99 (394):185-206 (1990)

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  1. The Fundamentality of Fundamental Powers.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):589-613.
    Dispositional essentialism is the view that all or many fundamental properties are essentially dispositional, or powers. The literature on the dispositional essence of powers is abundant. In contrast, the question of how to understand the fundamentality of fundamental powers has received scarce interest. Therefore, the fundamentality of powers stands in need of clarification. There are four main conceptions of the fundamental, namely as that which is metaphysically independent; or belonging to a minimally complete basis; or perfectly natural; or metaphysically primitive. (...)
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  • Is More Different? Emergent Properties in Physics.Paul Mainwood - unknown
    This thesis gives a philosophical assessment of a contemporary movement, influential amongst physicists, about the status of microscopic and macroscopic properties. The fountainhead for the movement was a short 1972 paper `More is Different', written by the condensed-matter physicist, Philip Anderson. Each of the chapters is concerned with themes mentioned in that paper, or subsequently expounded by Anderson and his followers. In Chapter 1, I aim to locate Anderson's existence claims for `emergent properties' within the metaphysical, epistemological and methodological doctrines (...)
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  • Physicalism and the Identity of Identity Theories.Samuel Elgin - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    It is often said that there are two varieties of identity theory. Type-identity theorists interpret physicalism as the claim that every property is identical to a physical property, while token-identity theorists interpret it as the claim that every particular is identical to a physical particular. The aim of this paper is to undermine the distinction between the two. Drawing on recent work connecting generalized identity to truth-maker semantics, I demonstrate that these interpretations are logically equivalent. I then argue that each (...)
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  • Mental Causation as Joint Causation.Chiwook Won - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4917-4937.
    This paper explores and defends the idea that mental properties and their physical bases jointly cause their physical effects. The paper evaluates the view as an emergentist response to the exclusion problem, comparing it with a competing nonreductive physicalist solution, the compatibilist solution, and argues that the joint causation view is more defensible than commonly supposed. Specifically, the paper distinguishes two theses of closure, Strong Closure and Weak Closure, two causal exclusion problems, the overdetermination problem and the supervenience problem, and (...)
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  • Methodological naturalism in the sciences.Sandy C. Boucher - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (1):57-80.
    Creationists have long argued that evolutionary science is committed to a dogmatic metaphysics of naturalism and materialism, which is based on faith or ideology rather than evidence. The standard response to this has been to insist that science is not committed to any such metaphysical doctrine, but only to a methodological version of naturalism, according to which science may only appeal to natural entities and processes. But this whole debate presupposes that there is a clear distinction between the natural and (...)
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  • Investigating Causal Effects of Mental Events in Cognitive Neuroscience.Mikkel C. Vinding - unknown
    Mental causation is a predominantly theoretical topic rather than a topic studied in the laboratory. The purpose of this paper is to outline a general approach for studying mental causation by empirical means for philosophers and scientists interested in the topic. The aim is to outline how we can infer mental causation by empirical methods given an unknown solution to the mind-body problem. The approach is based on the principles of causal inference to find causal relations among observed variables used (...)
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  • Redefining Physicalism.Guy Dove - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):513-522.
    Philosophers have traditionally treated physicalism as an empirically informed metaphysical thesis. This approach faces a well-known problem often referred to as Hempel’s dilemma: formulations of physicalism tend to be either false or indeterminate. The generally preferred strategy to address this problem involves an appeal to a hypothetical complete and ideal physical theory. After demonstrating that this strategy is not viable, I argue that we should redefine physicalism as an interdisciplinary research program seeking to explain the mental in terms of the (...)
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  • Emergence, Reduction and Supervenience: A Varied Landscape. [REVIEW]Jeremy Butterfield - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):920-959.
    This is one of two papers about emergence, reduction and supervenience. It expounds these notions and analyses the general relations between them. The companion paper analyses the situation in physics, especially limiting relations between physical theories. I shall take emergence as behaviour that is novel and robust relative to some comparison class. I shall take reduction as deduction using appropriate auxiliary definitions. And I shall take supervenience as a weakening of reduction, viz. to allow infinitely long definitions. The overall claim (...)
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  • An Evolutionary Argument Against Physicalism : Or Some Advice to Jaegwon Kim and Alvin Plantinga.Christoffer Skogholt - unknown
    According to the dominant tradition in Christianity and many other religions, human beings are both knowers and actors: beings with conscious beliefs about the world who sometimes act intentionally guided by these beliefs. According to philosopher of mind Robert Cummins the “received view” among philosophers of mind is epiphenomenalism, according to which mental causation does not exist: neural events are the underlying causes of both behavior and belief which explains the correlation (not causation) between belief and behavior. Beliefs do not, (...)
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  • A Defense of the Knowledge Argument.John Martin DePoe - unknown
    Defenders of the Knowledge Argument contend that physicalism is false because knowing all the physical truths is not sufficient to know all the truths about the world. In particular, proponents of the Knowledge Argument claim that physicalism is false because the truths about the character of conscious experience are not knowable from the complete set of physical truths. This dissertation is a defense of the Knowledge Argument. Chapter one characterizes what physicalism is and provides support for the claim that if (...)
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  • Qualia Und Physikalismus.Jürgen Schröder - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (1):159-183.
    Qualia and Physicalism. It is assumed that the following three relations exhaust the possibilities for a physicalist account of qualia: 1. determination, 2. identity, 3. realization. The first relation is immediately rejected because it does not exclude property dualism. The second faces the problem that it is probably impossible to discriminate empirically between the identity thesis and the epiphenomenalist position. The third cannot handle qualia adequately, for qualia are not functional properties and the realization relation is only plausible as a (...)
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  • H2O, 'Water', and Transparent Reduction.Thomas W. Polger - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (1):109-130.
    Do facts about water have a priori, transparent, reductive explanations in terms of microphysics? Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker hold that they do not. David Chalmers and Frank Jackson hold that they do. In this paper I argue that Chalmers.
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  • Parsing the Rainbow.Pendaran Roberts - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1793-1811.
    Navigating the ontology of color used to be a simple affair. There was the naive view that colors really are in objects the way they appear, and the view that they are secondary qualities to cause certain experiences in us. Today, there are myriad well-developed views but no satisfactory taxonomy of philosophical theories on color. In this article, I first examine the two newest taxonomies on offer and argue that they are inadequate. In particular, I look at Brogaard’s taxonomy and (...)
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  • Why ‘Non-Mental’ Won’T Work: On Hempel’s Dilemma and the Characterization of the ‘Physical’.Neal Judisch - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):299 - 318.
    Recent discussions of physicalism have focused on the question how the physical ought to be characterized. Many have argued that any characterization of the physical should include the stipulation that the physical is non-mental, and others have claimed that a systematic substitution of ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ is all that is needed for philosophical purposes. I argue here that both claims are incorrect: substituting ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ in the causal argument for physicalism does not deliver the physicalist conclusion, and the specification (...)
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  • Physicalism as an Attitude.Alyssa Ney - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (1):1 - 15.
    It is widely noted that physicalism, taken as the doctrine that the world contains just what physics says it contains, faces a dilemma which, some like Tim Crane and D.H. Mellor have argued, shows that “physicalism is the wrong answer to an essentially trivial question”. I argue that both problematic horns of this dilemma drop out if one takes physicalism not to be a doctrine of the kind that might be true, false, or trivial, but instead an attitude or oath (...)
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  • On Ensuring That Physicalism is Not a Dual Attribute Theory in Sheep's Clothing.Frank Jackson - 2006 - Philsophical Studies 131 (1):227-249.
    Physicalists are committed to the determination without remainder of the psychological by the physical, but are they committed to this determination being a priori? This paper distinguishes this question understood de dicto from this question understood de re, argues that understood de re the answer is yes in a way that leaves open the answer to the question understood de dicto.
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  • The Physical: Empirical, Not Metaphysical.J. L. Dowell, & Janice Dowell - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):25-60.
    2. The Contingency and A posteriority Constraint: A formulation of the thesis must make physicalism come out contingent and a posteriori. First, physicalism is a contingent truth, if it is a truth. This means that physicalism could have been false, i.e. there are counterfactual worlds in which physicalism is false, for example, counterfactual worlds in which there are miracle -performing angels.[9] Moreover, if physicalism is true, our knowledge of its truth is a posteriori. This is to say that there are (...)
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  • The Knowledge Argument and Objectivity.Robert J. Howell - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (2):145-177.
    In this paper I argue that Frank Jackson.
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  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts.Erhan Demircioglu - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):257-277.
    Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. In recent years, a consensus has emerged that the credibility of this and other well-known anti-physicalist arguments can be undermined by allowing that we possess a special category of concepts of experiences, phenomenal concepts, which are conceptually independent from physical/functional concepts. It is held by a large number of philosophers that since the conceptual independence of phenomenal (...)
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  • Fichte’s Critique of Physicalism – Towards an Idealist Alternative.Plato Tse - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (5):527-545.
    ABSTRACTThough the perennial problem of consciousness has outlasted the idealists, the reductivist turn in contemporary naturalistic philosophy of mind and the non-reductivist reactions to it provoke us to re-think post-Kantian idealism. Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre makes for a classical case of non-reductivist approach to mind and his critique of ‘dogmatism’ is all the more relevant in this context. This article contains four sections. The first section is an introduction that explains why post-Kantian idealism is relevant to contemporary philosophy of mind. The second (...)
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  • Interdiscourse or Supervenience Relations: The Primacy of the Manifest Image.J. Brakel - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):253 - 297.
    Amidst the progress being made in the various (sub-)disciplines of the behavioural and brain sciences a somewhat neglected subject is the problem of how everything fits into one world and, derivatively, how the relation between different levels of discourse should be understood and to what extent different levels, domains, approaches, or disciplines are autonomous or dependent. In this paper I critically review the most recent proposals to specify the nature of interdiscourse relations, focusing on the concept of supervenience. Ideally supervenience (...)
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  • Empirical Physicalism and the Boundaries of Physics.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):343-362.
    I shall argue in this article that there are certain objectual and methodological boundaries imposed by the nature of physics that all formulations of physicalism based on physical theories should respect. Therefore, empirical physicalism – i.e., the sort of physicalism that is eager to accept all the entities included in some future, ideal and complete physical theory and all entities dependent on them (see Jeffrey Poland and Janice Dowell) – is already committed to the exclusion of certain sorts of entities (...)
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  • Thoughts on the Scientific Study of Phenomenal Consciousness.Stan Klein - 2021 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 8 (74-80).
    This Target paper is about the hard problem of phenomenal consciousness (i.e., how is subjective experience possible given the scientific presumption that everything from molecules to minerals to minds is wholly physical?). I first argue that one of the most valuable tools in the scientific arsenal (metaphor) cannot be recruited to address the hard problem due to the inability to forge connections between the stubborn fact of subjective experience and physically grounded models of scientific explanation. I then argue that adherence (...)
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  • The Causal Autonomy of the Mental.E. J. Lowe - 1993 - Mind 102 (408):629-44.
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  • A Definition of Physicalism.Philip Pettit - 1993 - Analysis 53 (4):213-23.
    Defines physicalism in terms of claims that microphysical entities constitute everything and that microphysical laws govern everything. With a reply by Crane.
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  • The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):665-682.
    The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind. . ???aop.label???
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  • The Knowledge Argument.Luca Malatesti - 2004 - Dissertation, University of Stirling
    Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument is a very influential piece of reasoning that seeks to show that colour experiences constitute an insoluble problem for science. This argument is based on a thought experiment concerning Mary. She is a vision scientist who has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision but has never had colour experiences. According to Jackson, upon seeing coloured objects, Mary acquires new knowledge that escapes her complete scientific knowledge. He concludes that there are facts concerning colour experiences (...)
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  • Representational Theories of Phenomenal Character.Fiona Macpherson - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Stirling
    This thesis is an examination and critique of naturalistic representational theories of phenomenal character. Phenomenal character refers to the distinctive quality that perceptual and sensational experiences seem to have; it is identified with 'what it is like' to undergo experiences. The central claims of representationalism are that phenomenal character is identical with the content of experience and that all representational states, bearing appropriate relations to the cognitive system, are conscious experiences. These claims are taken to explain both how conscious experiential (...)
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  • Problem Umysł-Ciało-Ciało.Evan Thompson & Robert Hanna - 2012 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (T).
    Robert Hanna and Evan Thompson offer a solution to the Mind-Body-Body Problem. The solution, in a nutshell, is that the living and lived body is metaphysically and conceptually basic, in the sense that one’s consciousness, on the one hand, and one’s corporeal being, on the other, are nothing but dual aspects of one’s lived body. One’s living and lived body can be equated with one’s being as an animal; therefore, this solution to the Mind-Body-Body Problem amounts to an “animalist” version (...)
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  • The Body of the Mind-Body Problem.Barbara Montero - 1999 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 9 (4):207-217.
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  • Supervenience-Based Formulations of Physicalism.Jessica Wilson - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):426-459.
    The physicalist thesis that all entities are nothing over and above physical entities is often interpreted as appealing to a supervenience-based account of "nothing over and aboveness”, where, schematically, the A-entities are nothing over and above the B-entities if the A-entities supervene on the B-entities. The main approaches to filling in this schema correspond to different ways of characterizing the modal strength, the supervenience base, or the supervenience connection at issue. I consider each approach in turn, and argue that the (...)
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  • Consciousness-Dependence and the Explanatory Gap.Neil Campbell Manson - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):521-540.
    Contrary to certain rumours, the mind-body problem is alive and well. So argues Joseph Levine in Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness . The main argument is simple enough. Considerations of causal efficacy require us to accept that subjective experiential, or 'phenomenal', properties are realized in basic non-mental, probably physical properties. But no amount of knowledge of those physical properties will allow us conclusively to deduce facts about the existence and nature of phenomenal properties. This failure of deducibility constitutes an (...)
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  • How to Define Your (Mental) Terms.Tim Crane - 1998 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):341-354.
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  • On the Causal Completeness of Physics.Agustín Vicente - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
    According to an increasing number of authors, the best, if not the only, argument in favour of physicalism is the so-called 'overdetermination argument'. This argument, if sound, establishes that all the entities that enter into causal interactions with the physical world are physical. One key premise in the overdetermination argument is the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, said to be supported by contemporary physics. In this paper, I examine various ways in which physics may support the (...)
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  • Physicalism and Our Knowledge of Intrinsic Properties.Alyssa Ney - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):41 – 60.
    that the properties of science are purely extrinsic with the metaphysical principle that substances must also have intrinsic properties, the arguments reach the conclusion that there are intrinsic properties of whose natures we cannot know. It is the goal of this paper to establish that such arguments are not just ironic but extremely problematic. The optimistic physicalist principles that help get the argument off the ground ultimately undermine any justification the premises give for acceptance of the conclusion. Though I do (...)
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  • A Mereological Characterization of Physicalism.David Pineda - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):243 – 266.
    Physicalism is usually understood as the claim that every empirical entity is or is determined by physical entities. The claim is however imprecise until it is clarified what are the physical entities in question. A sceptical argument in the form of a dilemma tries to show that this problem of formulation of physicalism cannot be adequately met. If we understand physical entities as the entities introduced by current physics, the resulting claim becomes most probably false. If we instead understand physical (...)
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  • Emergentism and Supervenience Physicalism.Robert J. Howell - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):83 – 98.
    A purely metaphysical formulation of physicalism is surprisingly elusive. One popular slogan is, 'There is nothing over and above the physical'. Problems with this arise on two fronts. First, it is difficult to explain what makes a property 'physical' without appealing to the methodology of physics or to particular ways in which properties are known. This obviously introduces epistemic features into the core of a metaphysical issue. Second, it is difficult to cash out 'over-and-aboveness' in a way that is rigorous, (...)
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  • Physikalismus, Materialismus und Naturalismus.Andreas Hüttemann - 2017 - In Markus Schrenk (ed.), Handbuch Metaphysik. pp. 292-298.
    Discusses and contrasts various accounts of physicalism, naturalism and materialism.
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
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  • Causal Exclusion and the Preservation of Causal Sufficiency.Anders Strand - 2010 - SATS 11 (2):117-135.
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  • Two Conceptions of the Physical.Daniel Stoljar - 2001 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):253-281.
    The debate over physicalism in philosophy of mind can be seen as concerning an inconsistent tetrad of theses: if physicalism is true, a priori physicalism is true; a priori physicalism is false; if physicalism is false, epiphenomenalism is true; epiphenomenalism is false. This paper argues that one may resolve the debate by distinguishing two conceptions of the physical: on the theory-based conception, it is plausible that is true and is false; on the object-based conception, it is plausible that is true (...)
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  • The Epistemic/Ontic Divide.Barbara Montero - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):404 - 418.
    A number of philosophers think that, while we cannot explain how the mind is physical, we can know that it is physical, nonetheless. That is, they accept both the explanatory gap between the mental and the physical and ontological physicalism. I argue that this position is unstable. Among other things, I argue that once one accepts the explanatory gap, the main argument for ontological physicalism, the argument from causation, looses its force. For if one takes physical/nonphysical causation and ontological physicalism (...)
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  • Global Supervenience and Dependence.Karen Bennett - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):501-529.
    Two versions of global supervenience have recently been distinguished from each other. I introduce a third version, which is more likely what people had in mind all along. However, I argue that one of the three versions is equivalent to strong supervenience in every sense that matters, and that neither of the other two versions counts as a genuine determination relation. I conclude that global supervenience has little metaphysically distinctive value.
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  • Open Questions and the Manifest Image.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):251–289.
    The essay argues that, on their usual metalinguistic reconstructions, the open question argument and Frege’s puzzle are variants of the same argument. Each are arguments to a conclusion about a difference in meaning; each deploy compositionality as a premise; and each deploy a premise linking epistemic features of sentences with their meaning (which, given certain meaning-platonist assumptions, can be interpreted as a universal instantiation of Leibniz’s law). Given these parallels, each is sound just in case the other is. They are, (...)
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  • Why Physics Alone Cannot Define the 'Physical': Materialism, Metaphysics, and the Formulation of Physicalism.Seth Crook - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):333-359.
    Materialist metaphysicians want to side with physics, but not to take sides within physics.If we took literally the claim of a materialist that his position is simply belief in the claim that all is matter, as currently conceived, we would be faced with an insoluble mystery. For how would such a materialist know how to retrench when his favorite scientific hypotheses fail? How did the 18th century materialist know that gravity, or forces in general, were material? How did they know (...)
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  • On Characterizing the Physical.Jessica Wilson - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):61-99.
    How should physical entities be characterized? Physicalists, who have most to do with the notion, usually characterize the physical by reference to two components: 1. The physical entities are the entities treated by fundamental physics with the proviso that 2. Physical entities are not fundamentally mental (that is, do not individually possess or bestow mentality) Here I explore the extent to which the appeals to fundamental physics and to the NFM (“no fundamental mentality”) constraint are appropriate for characterizing the physical, (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • The Significance of Emergence.Tim Crane - 2001 - In Barry Loewer & Grant Gillett (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This paper is an attempt to understand the content of, and motivation for, a popular form of physicalism, which I call ‘non-reductive physicalism’. Non-reductive physicalism claims although the mind is physical (in some sense), mental properties are nonetheless not identical to (or reducible to) physical properties. This suggests that mental properties are, in earlier terminology, ‘emergent properties’ of physical entities. Yet many non-reductive physicalists have denied this. In what follows, I examine their denial, and I argue that on a plausible (...)
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  • Exclusion Endures: How Compatibilism Allows Dualists to Bypass the Causal Closure Argument.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):587-594.
    Jaegwon Kim maintains that his ‘exclusion argument’ forces us to accept reductive physicalism, which identifies mental and other high-level properties of the world with lower-level properties, over nonreductive physicalism, which avoids such identifications. According to Kim, the exclusion argument shows that any nonreductive view leads to either epiphenomenalism or unacceptable overdetermination of physical effects by physical causes. However, a popular nonreductive physicalist approach called ‘compatibilism’ aims to show that physicalism need not collapse high-level properties into lower-level physical. Compatibilism attempts to (...)
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