Ontological physicalism and property pluralism: Why they are incompatible

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (4):349-362 (2000)
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Abstract

To earn the title “ontological physicalist,” one must endorse an entailment thesis of the following sort: the physical properties that are had, together with the causal laws, determine which higher-level properties are had. I argue that if this thesis is to capture all that is essential to physicalist intuitions, the relevant set of causal laws must be restricted to purely physical laws. But then it follows that higher-level properties are physical properties. The conclusion is that one cannot consistently be an ontological physicalist while endorsing property pluralism.

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Robert Francescotti
San Diego State University

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