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There is no Question of Physicalism

In Paul K. Moser & J. D. Trout (eds.), Contemporary Materialism: A Reader. London: Routledge. pp. 65 (1995)

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  1. Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects.Marc Champagne - 2018 - Cham: Springer.
    It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period – (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press USA.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
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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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  • Physicalism or Anti-Physicalism: A Disjunctive Account.Umut Baysan & Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    In this paper, we make a case for the disjunctive view of phenomenal consciousness: consciousness is essentially disjunctive in being either physical or non-physical in the sense that it has both physical and non-physical possible instances. We motivate this view by showing that it undermines two well-known conceivability arguments in philosophy of mind: the zombie argument for anti-physicalism, and the anti-zombie argument for physicalism. By appealing to the disjunctive view, we argue that two hitherto unquestioned premises of these arguments are (...)
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  • Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  • Physicalism and Ontological Holism.Michael Esfeld - 1999 - Metaphilosophy 30 (4):319-337.
    The claim of this paper is that we should envisage physicalism as an ontological holism. Our current basic physics, quantum theory, suggests that, ontologically speaking, we have to assume one global quantum state of the world; many of the properties that are often taken to be intrinsic properties of physical systems are in fact relations, which are determined by that global quantum state. The paper elaborates on this conception of physicalism as an ontological holism and considers issues such as supervenience, (...)
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  • Explanation, Emergence, and Quantum Entanglement.Andreas Hüttemann - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):114-127.
    This paper tries to get a grip on two seemingly conflicting intuitions about reductionism in quantum mechanics. On the one hand it is received wisdom that quantum mechanics puts an end to ‘reductionism’. Quantum-entanglement is responsible for such features of quantum mechanics as holism, the failure of supervenience and emergence. While I agree with these claims I will argue that it is only part of the story. Quantum mechanics provides us with thorough-going reductionist explanations. I will distinguish two kinds of (...)
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  • The Semantics and Ontology of Dispositions.D. H. Mellor - 2000 - Mind 109 (436):757--780.
    The paper looks at the semantics and ontology of dispositions in the light of recent work on the subject. Objections to the simple conditionals apparently entailed by disposition statements are met by replacing them with so-called 'reduction sentences' and some implications of this are explored. The usual distinction between categorical and dispositional properties is criticised and the relation between dispositions and their bases examined. Applying this discussion to two typical cases leads to the conclusion that fragility is not a real (...)
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  • Physicality for Physicalists.D. Gene Witmer - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):457-472.
    How should the “physical” in “physicalism” be understood? I here set out systematic criteria of adequacy, propose an account, and show how the account meets those criteria. The criteria of adequacy focus on the idea of rational management: to vindicate philosophical practice, the account must make it plausible that we can assess various questions about physicalism. The account on offer is dubbed the “Ideal Naturalist Physics” account, according to which the physical is that which appears in an ideal theory that (...)
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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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  • On the Compatibility of Epistemic Internalism and Content Externalism.B. J. C. Madison - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (3):173-183.
    In this paper I consider a recent argument of Timothy Williamson’s that epistemic internalism and content externalism are indeed incompatible, and since he takes content externalism to be above reproach, so much the worse for epistemic internalism. However, I argue that epistemic internalism, properly understood, remains substantially unaffected no matter which view of content turns out to be correct. What is key to the New Evil Genius thought experiment is that, given everything of which the inhabitants are consciously aware, the (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Being a Physicalist: How and (More Importantly) Why.Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):221-241.
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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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  • A Dilemma About the Mental.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 1.
    Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a scientifically derived physical theory—is met with serious trouble. Proponents of physicalism can either appeal to current physical theory or to some future physical theory (preferably an ideal and complete one). Neither option is promising: currentism almost assuredly renders physicalism false and futurism appears to render it indeterminate or trivial. The (...)
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  • The Causal Autonomy of the Mental.E. J. Lowe - 1993 - Mind 102 (408):629-44.
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  • Explanation, Emergence and Causality: Comments on Crane.Michele Di Francesco - 2010 - In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
    Tim Crane's ‘Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap’ claims that non‐reductive physicalism must either close the explanatory gap, addressing the challenge famously posed by Levine's argument, or become identical to emergentism. Since no way to close the gap is available, the result is that there can be no interesting philosophical position intermediate between physicalism and emergentism. This chapter argues that if we look at the relation between physicalism and emergentism from the vantage point of reduction, Crane's (...)
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  • Realism, Common Sense, and Science.Mario De Caro - 2015 - The Monist 98 (2):197-214.
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  • Divine Idealism as Physicalism? Reflections on the Structural Definition of Physicalism.Jon W. Thompson - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (3):313-324.
    Hempel’s Dilemma remains at the center of the problem of defining physicalism. In brief, the dilemma asks whether physicalism should be defined by appeal to current or future physics. If defined by current physics, physicalism is almost certainly false. If defined by an ideal future physics, then physicalism has little determinable content. Montero and Papineau have innovatively suggested that the dilemma may be avoided by defining physicalism structurally. While their definition is one among many definitions, it is significant in that—if (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Emerging From the Causal Drain.Richard Corry - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
    For over 20 years, Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument has stood as the major hurdle for non-reductive physicalism. If successful, Kim’s argument would show that the high-level properties posited by non-reductive physicalists must either be identical with lower-level physical properties, or else must be causally inert. The most prominent objection to the Causal Exclusion Argument—the so-called Overdetermination Objection—points out that there are some notions of causation that are left untouched by the argument. If causation is simply counterfactual dependence, for example, (...)
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  • Mary’s Scientific Knowledge.Luca Malatesti - 2008 - Prolegomena 7 (1):37-59.
    Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument (KA) aims to prove, by means of a thought experiment concerning the hypothetical scientist Mary, that conscious experiences have non-physical properties, called qualia. Mary has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision without having had any colour experience. The central intuition in the KA is that, by seeing colours, Mary will learn what it is like to have colour experiences. Therefore, her scientific knowledge is incomplete, and conscious experiences have qualia. In this paper I consider (...)
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  • Bergson and Perspectivism.John Mullarkey - unknown
    This study is an exploration of the place of perspectivism in the philosophy of Henri Bergson. His work is compared with that of Thomas Nagel in terms of the mutual concern of these two philosophers to reconcile our increasingly objecti vist and impersonal understanding of reality with the perspectival apprehension of the world that living and conscious beings instantiate. It argues that Bergson's philosophy of time holds the key both to comprehending and to balancing the demands made upon us by (...)
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  • The Unplanned Obsolescence of Psychological Science and an Argument for its Revival.Stan Klein - 2016 - Pyshcology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 3:357-379.
    I examine some of the key scientific pre-commitments of modern psychology, and argue that their adoption has the unintended consequence of rendering a purely psychological analysis of mind indistinguishable from a purely biological treatment. And, since these pre-commitments sanction an “authority of the biological”, explanation of phenomena traditionally considered the purview of psychological analysis is fully subsumed under the biological. I next evaluate the epistemic warrant of these pre-commitments and suggest there are good reasons to question their applicability to psychological (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Bibliography. Zeitschriftenschau.Michael Anacker, Jutta Biedebach, Michael Flacke & Ralf Goeres - 1998 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 29 (2):371-405.
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  • Mental Causation in a Physical World.Eric Marcus - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.
    <b> </b>Abstract: It is generally accepted that the most serious threat to the possibility of mental causation is posed by the causal self-sufficiency of physical causal processes. I argue, however, that this feature of the world, which I articulate in principle I call Completeness, in fact poses no genuine threat to mental causation. Some find Completeness threatening to mental causation because they confuse it with a stronger principle, which I call Closure. Others do not simply conflate Completeness and Closure, but (...)
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