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  1. How Valuable Could a Material Object Be?Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):332-343.
    Arguments for substance dualism—the theory that we are at least partly non-material beings—abound. Many such arguments begin with our capacity to engage in conscious thought and end with dualism. Such are familiar. But there is another route to dualism. It begins with our moral value and ends with dualism. In this article, we develop and assess the prospects for this new style of argument. We show that, though one extant version of the argument does not succeed, there may yet be (...)
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  • Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):310-331.
    Free will, if such there be, involves free choosing: the ability to mentally choose an outcome, where the outcome is 'free' in being, in some substantive sense, up to the agent of the choice. As such, it is clear that the questions of how to understand free will and mental causation are connected, for events of seemingly free choosing are mental events that appear to be efficacious vis-a-vis other mental events as well as physical events. Nonetheless, the free will and (...)
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  • Why ‘Non-Mental’ Won’T Work: On Hempel’s Dilemma and the Characterization of the ‘Physical’. [REVIEW]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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  • Problems with the Physical in Physicalism.Phila Msimang - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):336-345.
    Hempel’s Dilemma is a challenge that has to be met by any formulation of physicalism that specifies the physical by reference to a particular physical theory. It poses the problem that if one’s specification of the physical is ‘current’ physical theory, then the physicalism which depends on it is false because current physics is false; and if the specification of the physical is a future or an ideal physics, the physicalism based on it would be trivial as it would be (...)
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  • Non-Reductive Realization and the Powers-Based Subset Strategy.Jessica M. Wilson - 2011 - The Monist (Issue on Powers) 94 (1):121-154.
    I argue that an adequate account of non-reductive realization must guarantee satisfaction of a certain condition on the token causal powers associated with (instances of) realized and realizing entities---namely, what I call the 'Subset Condition on Causal Powers' (first introduced in Wilson 1999). In terms of states, the condition requires that the token powers had by a realized state on a given occasion be a proper subset of the token powers had by the state that realizes it on that occasion. (...)
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  • Metaphysical Emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
    Motivated by the seeming structure of the sciences, metaphysical emergence combines broadly synchronic dependence coupled with some degree of ontological and causal autonomy. Reflecting the diverse, frequently incompatible interpretations of the notions of dependence and autonomy, however, accounts of emergence diverge into a bewildering variety. Here I argue that much of this apparent diversity is superficial. I first argue, by attention to the problem of higher-level causation, that two and only two strategies for addressing this problem accommodate the genuine emergence (...)
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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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  • Pessimism About Russellian Monism.Amy Kind - 2015 - In Torin Alter & Yujin Nagasawa (eds.), Consciousness in the Physical World: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. pp. 401-421.
    From the perspective of many philosophers of mind in these early years of the 21st Century, the debate between dualism and physicalism has seemed to have stalled, if not to have come to a complete standstill. There seems to be no way to settle the basic clash of intuitions that underlies it. Recently however, a growing number of proponents of Russellian monism have suggested that their view promises to show us a new way forward. Insofar as Russellian monism might allow (...)
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  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non- reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom (...)
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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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  • Naturalism and Physicalism.D. Gene Witmer - 2012 - In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. pp. 90-120.
    A substantial guide providing an overview of both physicalism and metaphysical naturalism, reviewing both questions of formulation and justification for both doctrines. Includes a diagnostic strategy for understanding talk of naturalism as a metaphysical thesis.
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  • Do Organisms Have an Ontological Status?Charles T. Wolfe - 2010 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (2-3):195-232.
    The category of ‘organism’ has an ambiguous status: is it scientific or is it philosophical? Or, if one looks at it from within the relatively recent field or sub-field of philosophy of biology, is it a central, or at least legitimate category therein, or should it be dispensed with? In any case, it has long served as a kind of scientific “bolstering” for a philosophical train of argument which seeks to refute the “mechanistic” or “reductionist” trend, which has been perceived (...)
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  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.J. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom needed (...)
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  • Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
    As a first pass, physicalism is the doctrine that there is nothing over and above the physical. Much recent philosophical work has been devoted to spelling out what this means in more rigorous terms and to assessing the case for the view. What follows is a survey of such work. I begin by looking at competing accounts of what is meant by nothing over and above and then turn to how the physical should be understood. Once we are clear on (...)
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  • Careful, Physicalists: Mind–Body Supervenience Can Be Too Superduper.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):8-21.
    It has become evident that mind–body supervenience, as merely specifying a covariance between mental and physical properties, is consistent with clearly non-physicalist views of the mental, such as emergentism. Consequently, there is a push in the physicalist camp for an ontologically more robust supervenience, a “superdupervenience,” that ensures that properties supervening on physical properties are physicalistically acceptable. Jessica Wilson claims that supervenience is made superduper by Condition on Causal Powers (CCP): each individual causal power associated with a supervenient property is (...)
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  • Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):3-24.
    How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality (...)
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  • Empirical Metaphysics: The Role of Intuitions About Possible Cases in Philosophy.J. L. Dowell - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (1):19-46.
    Frank Jackson has argued that only if we have a priori knowledge of the extension-fixers for many of our terms can we vindicate the methodological practice of relying on intuitions to decide between philosophical theories. While there has been much discussion of Jackson’s claim that we have such knowledge, there has been comparatively little discussion of this most powerful argument for that claim. Here I defend an alternative explanation of our intuitions about possible cases, one that does not rely on (...)
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  • Formulating the Thesis of Physicalism: An Introduction.Janice Dowell - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):1-23.
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  • No Pairing Problem.Andrew M. Bailey, Joshua Rasmussen & Luke van Horn - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (3):349-360.
    Many have thought that there is a problem with causal commerce between immaterial souls and material bodies. In Physicalism or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim attempts to spell out that problem. Rather than merely posing a question or raising a mystery for defenders of substance dualism to answer or address, he offers a compelling argument for the conclusion that immaterial souls cannot causally interact with material bodies. We offer a reconstruction of that argument that hinges on two premises: Kim’s Dictum (...)
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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 the Supposed Limits of Physicalist Theories of Mind.Jonathan E. Dorsey - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):207-225.
    Is physicalism compatible with either panpsychism or so-called fundamental mentality ? Minimal physicalism, I contend, is compatible with both. We should therefore jettison the No Fundamental Mentality constraint, a proposed constraint on the definition of the physical, not to mention the false limits it places on physicalist theories of mind.
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  • The Physicalist's Tight Squeeze: A Posteriori Physicalism Vs. A Priori Physicalism.Robert J. Howell - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):905-913.
    Both a priori physicalism and a posteriori physicalism combine a metaphysical and an epistemological thesis. They agree about the metaphysical thesis: our world is wholly physical. Most agree that this requires everything that there is must be necessitated by the sort of truths described by physics. If we call the conjunction of the basic truths of physics P, all physicalists agree that P entails for any truth Q. Where they disagree is whether or not this entailment can be known a (...)
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  • Hempel's Dilemma and Domains of Physics.P. Bokulich - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):646-651.
    Hempel's Dilemma is the claim that physicalism is an ill-formed thesis because it can offer no account of the physics that it refers to: current physics will be discarded in the future, and we don't yet know the nature of future physics. This article confronts the first horn of the dilemma, and argues that our knowledge of current physics is sufficient for offering a physicalist ontology of the mind. We have good scientific evidence that future physics will be irrelevant to (...)
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  • Ectoplasm Earth.Justin Tiehen - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4):167-185.
    What does it mean to say that the mental is nothing over and above the physical? In other words, what exactly is the thesis of physicalism about the mental? The question has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. If that sounds woefully uninformed, it's probably because you are mistaking my restricted thesis of physicalism about the mental for the unrestricted thesis of physicalism simpliciter. Physicalism simpliciter is the doctrine that everything is physical; equivalently, that there is nothing over and (...)
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  • Is Mereology a Guide to Conceivability?Daniel Giberman - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):121-146.
    Zombies are unconscious objects with conscious physical micro-duplicates. If zombies are possible then physicalism is false. It has been argued that zombies are possible if conceivable for an agent with ideal rationality. At any rate, they are possible only if so conceivable. This essay uses a mereological constraint to highlight the fine-grained differences between actually conscious physical objects and certain of their actually consciousness-incapable proper parts. These mereological considerations form the basis of an argument by dilemma that zombies are inconceivable. (...)
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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 Ontology of Subjective Physicalism.Robert J. Howell - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):315-345.
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  • A Causal Argument for Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2475-2506.
    Dualism holds that some mental events are fundamental and non-physical. I develop a prima facie plausible causal argument for dualism. The argument has several significant implications. First, it constitutes a new way of arguing for dualism. Second, it provides dualists with a parity response to causal arguments for physicalism. Third, it transforms the dialectical role of epiphenomenalism. Fourth, it refutes the view that causal considerations prima facie support physicalism but not dualism. After developing the causal argument for dualism and drawing (...)
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  • Why Pan-Dispositionalism is Incompatible with Metaphysical Naturalism.Travis Dumsday - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):107-122.
    Pan-dispositionalism is one of the major theories in current analytic metaphysics concerning dispositional properties and how they relate to categorical properties. According to pan-dispositionalists, all fundamental properties are dispositional in nature, such that any supposed categorical properties are either unreal or reducible in some way to the dispositional. I argue that if pan-dispositionalism is true then metaphysical naturalism is false. To the extent that one finds pan-dispositionalism a plausible theory, one ought to question the truth of metaphysical naturalism. On the (...)
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  • Physicalism as a Research Programme.Duško Prelević - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1):15-33.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 It is argued in this paper that physicalism is best understood as a research programme, rather than a thesis or an attitude, as some philosophers argue. Given that research programmes connect past, present and future philosophical or scientific activities, physicalists need not decide between current and future physical theories, as it has been required by Hempel’s Dilemma. The author contrasts this proposal with other solutions to Hempel’s Dilemma proposed by currentists, futurists, and those philosophers who (...)
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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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  • Functionalism, Superduperfunctionalism, and Physicalism: Lessons From Supervenience.Ronald Endicott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2205-2235.
    Philosophers almost universally believe that concepts of supervenience fail to satisfy the standards for physicalism because they offer mere property correlations that are left unexplained. They are thus compatible with non-physicalist accounts of those relations. Moreover, many philosophers not only prefer some kind of functional-role theory as a physically acceptable account of mind-body and other inter-level relations, but they use it as a form of “superdupervenience” to explain supervenience in a physically acceptable way. But I reject a central part of (...)
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  • Physicality for Physicalists.D. 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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  • Stoljar’s Dilemma and Three Conceptions of the Physical: A Defence of the Via Negativa.Raphaël Fiorese - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):201-229.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical. But what does it mean to say that everything is physical? Daniel Stoljar has recently argued that no account of the physical is available which allows for a formulation of physicalism that is both possibly true and deserving of the name. As against this claim, I argue that a version of the via negativa—roughly, the view that the physical is to be characterised in terms of the nonmental—provides just such an account.
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  • Defining Physicalism.Alyssa Ney - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1033-1048.
    This article discusses recent disagreements over the correct formulation of physicalism. Although there appears to be a consensus outside those who discuss the issue that physicalists believe that what exists is what is countenanced by physics, as we will see, this orthodoxy faces an important puzzle now frequently referred to as 'Hempel's Dilemma'. After surveying the historical trajectory from Enlightenment-era materialism to contemporary physicalism, I examine several mainstream approaches that respond to Hempel's dilemma, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
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  • The Russellian Monist's Problems with Mental Causation.R. Howell - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258):22-39.
    Russellian Monism, the view that phenomenal or protophenomenal properties serve as the categorical grounds of physical dispositions, has increasingly been thought to enjoy an advantage over traditional property dualism in that it avoids epiphenomenalism. This paper argues otherwise. Russellian Monism faces problems with mental causation that parallel those of traditional dualism. The best it can hope for is that phenomenal properties are causally relevant, but not in virtue of their phenomenality.
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  • Two Kinds of Completeness and the Uses (and Abuses) of Exclusion Principles.Matthew C. Haug - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):379-401.
    I argue that the completeness of physics is composed of two distinct claims. The first is the commonly made claim that, roughly, every physical event is completely causally determined by physical events. The second has rarely, if ever, been explicitly stated in the literature and is the claim that microphysics provides a complete inventory of the fundamental categories that constitute both the causal features and intrinsic nature of all the events that causally affect the physical universe. After showing that these (...)
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  • Pereboom's Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1191-1207.
    Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it (...)
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  • Current Physics and 'the Physical'.Agustin Vicente - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):393-416.
    Physicalism is the claim that that there is nothing in the world but the physical. Philosophers who defend physicalism have to confront a well-known dilemma, known as Hempel’s dilemma, concerning the definition of ‘the physical’: if ‘the physical’ is whatever current physics says there is, then physicalism is most probably false; but if ‘the physical’ is whatever the true theory of physics would say that there is, we have that physicalism is vacuous and runs the risk of becoming trivial. This (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism.Fernando Birman - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):207-225.
    The literature on physicalism often fails to elucidate, I think, what the word physical in physical ism precisely means. Philosophers speak at times of an ideal set of fundamental physical facts, or they stipulate that physical means non-mental , such that all fundamental physical facts are fundamental facts pertaining to the non-mental. In this article, I will probe physicalism in the very much tangible framework of quantum mechanics. Although this theory, unlike “ideal physics” or some “final theory of non-mentality”, is (...)
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  • Physicalism and the Intrinsic Nature of Consciousness.Patrick Lewtas - 2014 - Dialogue 53 (2):203-228.
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  • The Irrationality of Physicalism.Pat Lewtas - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (3):313-341.
    This paper argues, not that physicalism is wrong, but that it is irrational. The paper defines standards of rationality, both metaphysical and epistemological, that physicalism necessarily inherits from science. Then it assesses physicalist efforts to naturalize consciousness in light of these. It concludes that physicalism allows its metaphysics to outrun its epistemology, in defiance of applicable standards, revealing a fundamental incoherence in the doctrine. The paper also briefly reviews other naturalization programs, to claim that physicalism, unlike the sciences, hasn’t proved (...)
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