Physicalism, conceptual analysis, and acts of faith

In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes From the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press 43 (2009)
Frank Jackson and the author each take the other to hold a position in philosophy of mind that it is extremely difficult to sustain. This chapter tries to say something about how that can be. It seeks to demonstrate the sanity of Jackson's opponents and the fragility of his own position than to hold out for the truth of any particular doctrine. It wants to bring to the surface an assumption in ontology, which is seen as a crucial part of the grounding of Jackson's particular version of physicalism. Once it is appreciated that this assumption is contestable, Jackson's opponents may be seen in a different light from the one in which they appear in his writings. More generally, a connection will appear between the vast literature on physicalism as a topic in philosophy of mind and the equally vast literature on material constitution as a topic in metaphysics
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