Oh You Materialist!

Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (9-10):229-249 (2021)
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Abstract
Materialism in the philosophy of mind — materialismPM — is the view that everything mental is material (or, equivalently, physical). Consciousness — pain, emotional feeling, sensory experience, and so on — certainly exists. So materialismPM is the view that consciousness is wholly material. It has, historically, nothing to do with denial of the existence of consciousness. Its heart is precisely the claim that consciousness — consciousness! — is wholly material. [2] ‘Physicalism’, the view introduced by members of the Vienna Circle in the late 1920s, also has nothing to do with denial of the existence of consciousness. [3] Recently the words ‘materialism’ and ‘physicalism’ have come to be treated as synonymous, and as names for a position in the philosophy of mind that does involve denial of the existence of consciousness. They’ve been used to name a position that (i) directly rejects the heart of materialism (materialismPM) and (ii) is certainly false. This is a pity, because they’re good terms for a view that is very likely true.
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Archival date: 2021-10-07
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