About this topic
Summary Physicalism about the mind is the metaphysical view that all mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena, or necessitated by physical phenomena. There are various mental-physical relations proposed by physicalists to account for their claim. One relation is identity. Identity based physicalism about the mind takes two forms: token physicalism (which asserts that all token mental states are identical to a physical or neural state), and type physicalism (according to which all types of mental states are identical to types of physical or neural states). Another proposed relation is supervenience. Supervenience based physicalism about the mind is a form of type physicalism and it takes two main forms: a priori physicalism (the view that mental truths are a priori deducible from the totality of physical truths) and a posteriori physicalism (the view that mental truths are a posteriori or empirically necessitated by the totality of physical truths).
Key works Identity based physicalism was first proposed by Place 1956, Feigl 1958, and Smart 1959. Token identity based physicalism is taken to originate with Davidson 1963. Explicitly type identity based physicalist approaches are to be found in Lewis 1970 and in Armstrong 1968. An account of the distinction between a priori and a posteriori supervenience based physicalism is given in Chalmers 1996 and in Stoljar 2000. Particular a priori physicalist approaches are to be found in Dennett 1991Dretske 1995Lewis 1990Rey 1995. Particular a posteriroi physicalist approaches appear in Loar 1990Papineau 1993Tye 1995Hill 1997Balog 1999Block & Stalnaker 1999Balog 2012.
Introductions Stoljar 2001
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  1. XII.—Dispensing With Mind.R. I. Aaron - 1952 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 52 (1):225-242.
  2. Further Reflections on Mind-Body Identity.Raziel Abelson - 1971 - Journal of Critical Analysis 3 (3):111-112.
  3. What to Do If You Want to Defend a Theory You Cannot Prove.Peter Achinstein - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):35-56.
  4. The Identity Hypothesis.Peter Achinstein - 1962 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 13 (50):167-171.
  5. Smart on Free-Will.Richard Acworth - 1963 - Mind 72 (286):271-272.
  6. Wittgenstein and Physicalism.Joseph Agassi - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 41:67-97.
    In the light of a sketch of the history of modem Anti-Metaphysics up from Francis Bacon Wittgenstein's position - the refusal of the possibility of metaphysical assertions - is compared with the views of Mach, of Camap and Neurath and of Popper. Analysing the notions of 'nonsense', 'meaninglessness' and 'Scheinproblem', their interrelations and connections to physicalism three variants of Anti-Metaphysics are distinguished: the Enlightenment view, the positivistMachian view and the linguistic Wittgensteinian view. The present day actuality of these views is (...)
  7. Causing Human Actions: New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action.Jesús H. Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (eds.) - 2010 - Bradford.
    The causal theory of action is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency -- the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources (...)
  8. A Contribution to Chjristian Materialism.John Allcock - 1970 - New Blackfriars 51 (607):560-571.
  9. Coupland and Gwyn's Collection on Discourse, Body, Identity.Gordon Alley-Young - 2005 - American Journal of Semiotics 21 (1/4):152-154.
  10. The Structure and Dynamics Argument Against Materialism.Torin Alter - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):794-815.
  11. Nagel on Imagination and Physicalism.Torin Alter - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:143-58.
    In "What is it Like to be a Bat?" Thomas Nagel argues that we cannot imagine what it is like to be a bat or presently understand how physicalism might be true. Both arguments have been seriously misunderstood. I defend them against various objections, point out a problem with the argument against physicalism, and show how the problem can be solved.
  12. Quandaries of Mind, Brain, and Cosmos.Robert M. Anderson Jr - 1978 - International Philosophical Quarterly 18 (2):215-222.
  13. Some Remarks on 'Physicalism and Immortality': Reply to David Mouton.Tyson Anderson - 1974 - Religious Studies 10 (1):81 - 84.
  14. New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical, Edited by Simone Gozzano and Christopher S. Hill.István Aranyosi - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):605-609.
  15. Carl Gillett and Barry Loewer (Eds.), Physicalism and Its Discontents.István Aranyosi - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6:363-370.
  16. Physicalism and Its Discontents.István Aranyosi - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):363-370.
  17. The Physics, or Physical Auscultation of Aristotle.Thomas Aristotle, Robert Taylor, Simplicius & Wilks - 1806 - Printed for the Translator, Manor-Place, Walworth, Surrey; by Robert Wilks, 89, Chancer-Lane, Fleet-Street.
  18. On Methodological Materialism.A. MacC Armstrong - 1973 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 34 (1):62-72.
  19. Reply to Smart.D. M. Armstrong - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):177 – 178.
  20. The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction (Boulder: Westview, 1999); U. Place,'Thirty Years On: Is Consciousness Still a Brain Process?'.D. M. Armstrong - 1988 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (2).
  21. BUNGE, M.: "Scientific Materialism". [REVIEW]D. M. Armstrong - 1982 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 60:373.
  22. Materialism, Properties and Predicates.D. M. Armstrong - 1972 - The Monist 56 (2):163-176.
  23. Equal Weights and Psychophysical Judgments.L. Arons & F. W. Irwin - 1932 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 15 (6):733.
  24. A Psychophysical Approach to Action Timing.Gisa Aschersleben, Jorg Gehrke & Wolfgang Prinz - 2004 - In Christian Kaernbach, Erich Schroger & Hermann Müller (eds.), Psychophysics Beyond Sensation: Laws and Invariants of Human Cognition. Psychology Press. pp. 117--136.
  25. The World of Physical ChemistryKeith J. Laidler.Alexi Assmus - 1996 - Isis 87 (1):197-198.
  26. Non-Physicalist Physical Approaches. Guest Editorial.H. Atmanspacher - 2005 - Mind Matter 3:3-6.
  27. A Defense of Naturalism.Keith Augustine - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
    The first part of this essay discusses what naturalism in the philosophy of religion should entail for one's ontology, considers various proposed criteria for categorizing something as natural, uses an analysis of these proposed criteria to develop theoretical criteria for both the natural and nonnatural, and develops a set of criteria for identifying a potentially supernatural event in practice. The second part of the essay presents a persuasive empirical case for naturalism based on the lack of uncontroversial evidence for any (...)
  28. Herbert Feigl.Bruce Aune - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988 (2):23 - 24.
  29. Book Review:Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism Christopher S. Hill. [REVIEW]Edward Wilson Averill - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):319-.
  30. Le Matérialisme Rationnel.Gaston Bachelard - 1953 - Presses Universitaires de France.
  31. Materialism with a Human Face.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2001 - In Kevin J. Corcoran (ed.), Soul, Body, and Survival. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  32. True Materialism.Joseph Henry Barker - 1876
  33. Rationally Justified Belief and Mental Causation: An Epistemic Argument Against Physicalism.Justin Daniel Barnard - 2002 - Dissertation, The Florida State University
    The epistemic argument against physicalism supports the claim that if physicalism is true, then none of our beliefs are rationally justified. The argument relies on two major premises. The first places a constraint on rationally justified belief, according to which S's believing that p is rationally justified only if there is some reason for p, r, which S believes and S's believing that r is part of a true causal explanation for S's believing that p. The second advances the conceptual (...)
  34. You Are Simple.David Barnett - 2010 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism. Oxford University Press. pp. 161--174.
    I argue that, unlike your brain, you are not composed of other things: you are simple. My argument centers on what I take to be an uncontroversial datum: for any pair of conscious beings, it is impossible for the pair itself to be conscious. Consider, for instance, the pair comprising you and me. You might pinch your arm and feel a pain. I might simultaneously pinch my arm and feel a qualitatively identical pain. But the pair we form would not (...)
  35. Abelson. RP 185,195 Arbib, MA 57, 64,185,194 Armstrong, D. 33 Asperger, H. 186,191,194.S. Baron-Cohen - 2002 - In Jérôme Dokic & Joëlle Proust (eds.), Simulation and Knowledge of Action. John Benjamins. pp. 45--265.
  36. Intentional Implications: The Impact of a Reduction of Mind on Philosophy.Daniel B. Barwick - 1994 - Upa.
    This book is an examination of the implications of a mature Humean-Sartrean analysis of mind, including its impact on perception, personal identity, weakness of the will, and cognitivism. Contents: INTRODUCTION; TERMS; Identity; Existence; Knowledge; Paradigmatic Uses of Material Identity; Qualities; Universals; Indiscernibility; Substance; Change; AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE; PERSONAL IDENTITY; THE GIVEN; Theory Neutral Observations; Logical Entailments of the Absence of a Given; Materialism; THE DREAM ARGUMENT; AKRASIA; The Problem; The Nature of Desiring; COGNITIVISM; APPENDICES.
  37. Materialist Vs. Panexperientialist Physicalism.Pierfrancesco Basile - 2010 - Process Studies 39 (2):264-284.
    This paper provides a brief critique of Jaegwon Kim’s evaluation of the achievements of materialist physicalism and then goes on to examine the case for panpsychism and the main objection that has been raised against it, i.e., the composition problem. The object of this examination is to lay bare the fundamental assumptions underlying both the main argument in support of the theory and the objection against it. Whitehead’s panexperientialism has a fair claim to be regarded as the most elaborate version (...)
  38. Mind, Matter and Method.P. K. Bastable - 1967 - Philosophical Studies 16:332-333.
  39. Property Identity and Reductive Explanation.Ansgar Beckermann - 2012 - In Hill Christopher & Gozzano Simone (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66.
  40. What Is Property Physicalism?Ansgar Beckermann - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
  41. The Status of Physical Concepts.John C. Begg - 1939 - Philosophy 14 (53):68 - 85.
    Contemplating certain residual mists, the net proceeds of a material world exploded and disintegrated by the relentless penetration of scientific intellect, the more advanced physicist has been led in recent times to co-operate with the philosopher on a common plane. Not so long ago, and not always without reason, the philosopher was regarded somewhat askance. It is the old antithesis between the practical man and the theorist, the scientific man himself having been regarded for long as a dreamer. All depends (...)
  42. Keeping Modality in Mind: In Defense of Token Identity.Karen Elizabeth Bennett - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    The token identity theory, the claim that each mental event is identical to some physical event, remains a popular view in the philosophy of mind. However, it has been the target of a number of interesting and important criticisms, and broadly physicalist alternatives to the token identity theory are on the rise. I defend the token identity theory against these recent 'token dualist' challenges. ;I begin by clarifying the token identity and token dualist theses. What does it mean to claim---or (...)
  43. Conclusion: Philosophy, Materialism, and Nature–Comments and Reflections.Ted Benton - 2009 - In Sandra Moog, Rob Stone & Ted Benton (eds.), Nature, Social Relations and Human Needs: Essays in Honour of Ted Benton. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 208--243.
  44. Arguing for Eliminativism.José Luis Bermúdez - 2005 - In Brian L. Keeley (ed.), Paul Churchland. Cambridge University Press.
    This paper considers how best an eliminativist might argue for the radical falsity of commonsense psychology. I will be arguing that Paul Churchland’s “official” arguments for eliminative materialism (in, e.g., Churchland 1981) are unsatisfactory, although much of the paper will be developing themes that are clearly present in Churchland’s writings. The eliminativist needs to argue that the representations that feed into action are fundamentally different from those invoked by propositional attitude psychology. The “springs of action” are representations of features that (...)
  45. Psychophysische Gesetze und Supervenienz.Sven Bernecker - 2003 - Philosophia Naturalis 40 (2):207-225.
    This paper argues that there is a tension between the two components of Davidson's anomalous monism--the supervenience of the mental on the physical and the anomalism of the mental. While the anomalism of the mental denies the possibility of strict psychophysical laws, the principle of supervenience sometimes suggests that such laws do exist and that they are responsible for the dependence of the mental on the physical.
  46. The Challenge of Scientific Materialism.Richard J. Bernstein - 1968 - International Philosophical Quarterly 8 (2):252-275.
  47. A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism.John Bickle - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):262–264.
  48. Revisionary Physicalism.John Bickle - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (4):411-30.
    The focus of much recent debate between realists and eliminativists about the propositional attitudes obscures the fact that a spectrum of positions lies between these celebrated extremes. Appealing to an influential theoretical development in cognitive neurobiology, I argue that there is reason to expect such an “intermediate” outcome. The ontology that emerges is a revisionary physicalism. The argument draws lessons about revisionistic reductions from an important historical example, the reduction of equilibrium thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and applies them to the (...)
  49. Scientific Materialism and Ultimate Conceptions.Sidney Billing - 1879
  50. Entity and Aspects. (As Pertaining to Physical Theory).Erwin Biser - 1947 - Philosophy of Science 14 (2):105-115.
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