David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):393-416 (2011)
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 article has two parts. The first, negative, part is devoted to developing a criticism of the so-called via negativa response to Hempel’s dilemma. In the second, more substantial, part, I propose to take the first horn of Hempel’s dilemma. However, I argue for a broad construal of ‘current physics’ and characterize ‘the physical’ accordingly. The virtues of the broad characterization of ‘the physical’ are: first, it makes physicalism less likely to be false; and second, it ties our understanding of ‘the physical’ to the reasons we have for believing in physicalism. That is, it fulfills the desideratum of construing our theses according to the reasons we have to believe in them
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Noam Chomsky (1995). Language and Nature. Mind 104 (413):1-61.
Scott Sturgeon (1998). Physicalism and Overdetermination. Mind 107 (426):411-432.
Philip Pettit (1993). A Definition of Physicalism. Analysis 53 (4):213-23.
Citations of this work BETA
Matteo Mossio, Leonardo Bich & Alvaro Moreno (2013). Emergence, Closure and Inter-Level Causation in Biological Systems. Erkenntnis 78 (2):153-178.
Agustin Vicente (2013). Where to Look for Emergent Properties. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (137):156.
Agustín Vicente (2011). Functions and Emergence: When Functional Properties Have Something to Say. Philosophical Studies 152 (2):293-312.
Travis Dumsday (2015). Why Pan-Dispositionalism is Incompatible with Metaphysical Naturalism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):107-122.
Agustin Vicente (2010). An Enlightened Revolt: On the Philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. Philosophia 38 (4):38: 631- 648.
Similar books and articles
P. Bokulich (2011). Hempel's Dilemma and Domains of Physics. Analysis 71 (4):646-651.
David Pineda (2006). A Mereological Characterization of Physicalism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):243 – 266.
Neal Judisch (2008). Why 'Non-Mental' Won't Work: On Hempel's Dilemma and the Characterization of the 'Physical'. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 140 (3):299 - 318.
Jessica M. Wilson (2006). On Characterizing the Physical. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):61-99.
Agustín Vicente (2006). On the Causal Completeness of Physics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
Alyssa Ney (2008). Physicalism as an Attitude. Philosophical Studies 138 (1):1 - 15.
Fernando Birman (2009). Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):207-225.
Daniel Stoljar (2001). Two Conceptions of the Physical. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):253-81.
Benedikt Paul Göcke (2009). What is Physicalism? Ratio 22 (3):291-307.
Michael Esfeld (1999). Physicalism and Ontological Holism. Metaphilosophy 30 (4):319-337.
Daniel Stoljar (2003). Introduction. In Peter Ludlow, Yujin Nagasawa & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary. The MIT Press
Marcin Miłkowski (2008). Definining Ontological Naturalism. In Alexander Hieke & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Reduction and Elimination in Philosophy and the Sciences. Papers of the 31st International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society
Wilfrid S. Sellars (1981). Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process, III: Is Consciousness Physical? The Monist 64 (January):66-90.
Added to index2011-02-26
Total downloads240 ( #10,099 of 1,796,437 )
Recent downloads (6 months)50 ( #18,053 of 1,796,437 )
How can I increase my downloads?