Brown, Robin; Ladyman, James
January 2009
Philosophical Quarterly;Jan2009, Vol. 59 Issue 234, p20
Academic Journal
We provide a formulation of physicalism, and show that this is to be favoured over alternative formulations. Much of the literature on physicalism assumes without argument that there is a fundamental level to reality, and we show that a consideration of the levels problem and its implications for physicalism tells in favour of the form of physicalism proposed here. Its key elements are, first, that the empirical and substantive part of physicalism amounts to a prediction that physics will not posit new entities solely for the purpose of accounting for mental phenomena, nor new entities with essentially mental characteristics such as propositional attitudes or intentions; secondly, that physicalism can safely make do with no more than a weak global formulation of supervenience.


Related Articles

  • Through Thick and Thin with Ned Block: How Not to Rebut the Property Dualism Argument. O’Sullivan, Brendan // Philosophia;Dec2008, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p531 

    In “Max Black’s Objection to Mind–Body Identity,” Ned Block seeks to offer a definitive treatment of property dualism arguments that exploit modes of presentation. I will argue that Block’s central response to property dualism is confused. The property dualist...

  • Nothing but Neurons? Examining the Ontological Dimension of Schizophrenia in the Case of Auditory Hallucinations. Lüdmann, Mike // Journal of Mind & Behavior;Winter/Spring2010, Vol. 31 Issue 1/2, p49 

    Using the example of auditory hallucinations which especially occur in the psychopathology of schizophrenia this text tries to bridge the gap between empirical research in psychology or psychiatry and philosophical reflection on the mind-body problem. It is a fact that the neuronal...

  • Hempel's Dilemma and domains of physics. Bokulich, Peter // Analysis;Oct2011, Vol. 71 Issue 4, p646 

    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...

  • Fundamentality and the Mind-Body Problem. Goff, Philip // Erkenntnis;Aug2016, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p881 

    In the recent metaphysics literature, a number of philosophers have independently endeavoured to marry sparse ontology to abundant truth. The aim is to keep ontological commitments minimal, whilst allowing true sentences to quantify over a vastly greater range of entities than those which they...

  • Comments on Sydney Shoemaker’s Physical Realization. Melnyk, Andrew // Philosophical Studies;Mar2010, Vol. 148 Issue 1, p113 

    This paper interprets and criticizes some of the views presented in Sydney Shoemaker’s book, Physical Realization (Oxford University Press, 2007), on the topic of how mental properties are realized by physical properties, given that, on his view, human persons are not even token-identical...

  • Supervenience, Dynamical Systems Theory, and Non-Reductive Physicalism. Yoshimi, Jeffrey // British Journal for the Philosophy of Science;Jun2012, Vol. 63 Issue 2, p373 

    It is often claimed (1) that levels of nature are related by supervenience, and (2) that processes occurring at particular levels of nature should be studied using dynamical systems theory. However, there has been little consideration of how these claims are related. To address the issue, I show...

  • Overdetermination Underdetermined. Bernstein, Sara // Erkenntnis;Feb2016, Vol. 81 Issue 1, p17 

    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving...

  • IS NEUROSCIENCE ADEQUATE AS THE FORTHCOMING "MINDSCIENCE"? Manzotti, Riccardo; Moderato, Paolo // Behavior & Philosophy;2010, Vol. 38, p1 

    The widespread use of brain imaging techniques encourages conceiving of neuroscience as the forthcoming ''mindscience.'' Perhaps surprisingly for many, this conclusion is still largely unwarranted. The present paper surveys various shortcomings of neuroscience as a putative ''mindscience.'' The...

  • On the supposed limits of physicalist theories of mind. Dorsey, Jonathan // Philosophical Studies;Sep2011, Vol. 155 Issue 2, p207 

    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...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics