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105 found
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  1. Carnap's Second Aufbau and David Lewis's Aufbau.David J. Chalmers - manuscript
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  2. Our Fundamental Problem: A Revolutionary Approach to Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - June 2020 - Montreal, Canada: Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
    How can the world we live in and see, touch, hear, and smell, the world of living things, people, consciousness, free will, meaning, and value - how can all of this exist and flourish embedded as it is in the physical universe, made up of nothing but physical entities such as electrons and quarks? How can anything be of value if everything in the universe is, ultimately, just physics? In Our Fundamental Problem Nicholas Maxwell argues that this problem of reconciling (...)
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  3. On Characterizing Metaphysical Naturalism.Lok-Chi Chan - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 1:232-260.
    The disciplinary characterisation (DC) is the most popular approach to defining metaphysical naturalism and physicalism. It defines metaphysical naturalism with reference to scientific theories and defines physicalism with reference to physical theories, and suggests that every entity that exists is a posited entity of these theories. DC has been criticised for its inability to solve Hempel’s dilemma and a list of problems alike. In this paper, I propose and defend a novel version of DC that can be called a historical (...)
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  4. A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its be...
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  5. Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  6. A Scientific-Realist Account of Common Sense.Orly Shenker - 2020 - In Rik Peels & René Van Woudenberg (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Common-Sense Philosophy. Cambridge: pp. 333-351.
    There are good reasons to endorse scientific realism and good reasons to endorse common-sense realism. However, it has sometimes been suggested that there is a tension between the two which makes it difficult to endorse both. Can the common-sense picture of the world be reconciled with the strikingly different picture presented to us by our best confirmed theories of science? This chapter critically examines proposals for doing so, and it offers a new one, which is essentially this. It is a (...)
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  7. Abduction Versus Conceiving in Modal Epistemology.Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2045-2076.
    How should modal reasoning proceed? Here we compare abduction-based and conceiving-based modal epistemologies, and argue that an abduction-based approach is preferable, and by a wide margin.
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  8. The Physical as the Nomalous.J. Goldwater - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (5-6):65-88.
    I argue physicalism should be characterized as the thesis that all behavior is law-governed. This characterization captures crucial desiderata for a formulation of physicalism, including its broad import and worldview defining features. It also has more local virtues, such as avoiding Hempel’s dilemma. A particularly important implication, I argue, is that this thesis makes the question of the mind’s physicality turn on what the mind can do- rather than what experience is like.
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  9. The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  10. A New Task for Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (3):316-338.
    This paper argues that philosophers of science have before them an important new task that they urgently need to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science (...)
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  11. Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  12. Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  13. Logical Form, the First Person, and Naturalism About Psychology: The Case Against Physicalist Imperialism.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2018 - In Manuela Fernandez Pinto, Uskali Mäki & Adrian Walsh (eds.), Scientific Imperialism: Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity. Routledge. pp. 237-253.
    Physicalistic theories of psychology are a classic case of scientific imperialism: the explanatory capacity of physics, both with respect to its methods and to its domain, is taken to extend beyond the traditional realm of physics, and into that of psychology. I argue in this paper that this particular imperialistic venture has failed. Contemporary psychology uses methods not modelled on those of physics, embracing first-personal methodology where physics is strictly impersonal. I make the case that whether or not scientific imperialism (...)
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  14. In Defense of a Realization Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):483-493.
    In earlier work, I proposed and defended a formulation of physicalism that was distinctive in appealing to a carefully-defined relation of physical realization. Various philosophers (Robert Francescotti, Daniel Stoljar, Carl Gillett, and Susan Schneider) have since presented challenges to this formulation. In the present paper, I aim to show that these challenges can be overcome.
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  15. There Could Be a Light That Never Goes Out. The Metaphysical Possibility of Disembodied Existence.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2018 - Argumenta 3 (2):353-366.
    According to many philosophers, even if it is metaphysically possible that I exist without my present body or without my present brain, it is not metaphysically possible that I exist without any physical support. Thus, it is not metaphysically possible that I exist in some afterlife world, where I do not have any physical support. I shall argue against such a thesis by distinguishing two different notions of physical and by examining two strategies used by those who defend the thesis. (...)
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  16. The Eudaimonian Question: On the Tragedy of Humanism (Ethics, Education and the Common Good).Raymond Aaron Younis - 2018 - Selected Papers From the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
  17. Causal Exclusion and Causal Bayes Nets.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):353-375.
    In this paper I reconstruct and evaluate the validity of two versions of causal exclusion arguments within the theory of causal Bayes nets. I argue that supervenience relations formally behave like causal relations. If this is correct, then it turns out that both versions of the exclusion argument are valid when assuming the causal Markov condition and the causal minimality condition. I also investigate some consequences for the recent discussion of causal exclusion arguments in the light of an interventionist theory (...)
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  18. Causal Exclusion Without Physical Completeness and No Overdetermination.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Abstracta 10:3-14.
    Hitchcock demonstrated that the validity of causal exclusion arguments as well as the plausibility of several of their premises hinges on the specific theory of causation endorsed. In this paper I show that the validity of causal exclusion arguments—if represented within the theory of causal Bayes nets the way Gebharter suggests—actually requires much weaker premises than the ones which are typically assumed. In particular, neither completeness of the physical domain nor the no overdetermination assumption are required.
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  19. Is It a Problem That Physics is Mathematical?Philip Goff - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (9-10):50-58.
    In her paper 'Does the Mathematical Nature of Physics Undermine Physicalism?' Susan Schneider draws attention to a much neglected challenge to physicalism, arising from its mathematical vocabulary. Whilst I agree with Schneider that the mathematical nature of physics is a concern for the physicalist, I disagree with her concerning the essence of the problem. I argue on the basis of Newman's problem that a purely mathematical description cannot entirely characterize concrete reality. The physicalist can avoid Newman's problem by emphasizing the (...)
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  20. The Argument From Reason, and Mental Causal Drainage: A Reply to van Inwagen.Brandon Rickabaugh & Todd Buras - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (2):381-399.
    According to Peter van Inwagen, C. S. Lewis failed in his attempt to undermine naturalism with his Argument from Reason. According to van Inwagen, Lewis provides no justification for his central premise, that naturalism is inconsistent with holding beliefs for reasons. What is worse, van Inwagen argues that the main premise in Lewis's argument from reason is false. We argue that it is not false. The defender of Lewis's argument can make use of the problem of mental causal drainage, a (...)
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  21. The Layer Cake Model of the World and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Matthew Baxendale - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):39-60.
    In this paper I argue that non-reductive physicalism (NRP) continues to rely on the ontological aspect of the layer cake model of the world (LCM). NRP is a post-unity account of the relationship between phenomena in the world in the sense that it has been developed in response to the perceived failure of the unity of science thesis. The LCM constitutes a framework for the organisation of phenomena in the world. It articulates the idea that phenomena in the world are (...)
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  22. How To Get Rid of Closure.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2016 - Diametros 48:1-17.
    Sophie Gibb has recently invented a very interesting strategy against Kim’s causal exclusion argument. This strategy adopts the powers theory of causation and an interpretation of mental causation in terms of double prevention. Gibb’s strategy results both in invalidating the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain in most of its formulations and in disarming the argument in question. In my paper, I present a general procedure for the opponents of reductive physicalism which enables them to _grapple successfully_ (...)
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  23. Physicalism and the Part-Whole Relation.Andreas Hüttemann - 2016 - In Christian Wüthrich & Tomasz Bigaj (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Leiden, Niederlande: pp. 323-344.
    In this paper I intend to analyse whether a certain kind of physicalism (part-wholephysicalism)is supported by what classical mechanics and quantum mechanics have to say about the part whole relation. I will argue that not even the most likely candidates – namely cases of microexplanation of the dynamics of compound systems – provide evidence for part whole-physicalism, i.e. the thesis that the behaviour of the compound obtains in virtue of the behaviour of the parts. Physics does not dictate part-whole-physicalism.
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  24. Grounding and the Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Palgrave. pp. 249-269.
    Grounding is all the rage in analytical metaphysics. But here I give three reasons for not appealing to a primitive relation of grounding in formulating physicalism. (1) It probably can't do the key job it would need to do. (2) We don't need it, since we already have realization. (3) It is probably not even consistent with physicalism.
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  25. How to Befriend Zombies: A Guide for Physicalists.Bradford Saad - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2353-2375.
    Though not myself a physicalist, I develop a new argument against antiphysicalist positions that are motivated by zombie arguments. I first identify four general features of phenomenal states that are candidates for non-physical types; these are used to generate different types of zombie. I distinguish two antiphysicalist positions: strict dualism, which posits exactly one general non-physical type, and pluralism, which posits more than one such type. It turns out that zombie arguments threaten strict dualism and some pluralist positions as much (...)
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  26. Grounding-Based Formulations of Physicalism.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Topoi 37 (3):495-512.
    I problematize Grounding-based formulations of physicalism. More specifically, I argue, first, that motivations for adopting a Grounding-based formulation of physicalism are unsound; second, that a Grounding-based formulation lacks illuminating content, and that attempts to imbue Grounding with content by taking it to be a strict partial order are unuseful and problematic ; third, that conceptions of Grounding as constitutively connected to metaphysical explanation conflate metaphysics and epistemology, are ultimately either circular or self-undermining, and controversially assume that physical dependence is incompatible (...)
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  27. Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality.Harald Atmanspacher, Loriliai Biernacki, Bernard Carr, Wolfgang Fach, Michael Grosso, Michael Murphy, David E. Presti, Gregory Shaw, Henry P. Stapp, Eric M. Weiss & Ian Whicher - 2015 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    In Beyond Physicalism, an interdisciplinary group of physical scientists, behavioral and social scientists, and humanists from the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research argue that physicalism must be replaced by an expanded scientific naturalism that accommodates something spiritual at the heart of nature.
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  28. Science and Self.David Kolb - 2015 - Philosophy Today 59 (1):91-102.
    What are the ontological commitments in Hegel and Heidegger’s discussion of the self? In this essay I approach these continental thinkers with a question from analytic philosophy, to see how they might respond. In different ways Hegel and Heidegger try to locate the question within a prior discourse about the conditions of the possibility of any local ontological commitments. The priority they claim can be clarified by distinguishing conditions of possibility from conditions of actuality.
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  29. What’s Wrong With Aim-Oriented Empiricism?Nicholas Maxwell - 2015 - Acta Baltica Historiae Et Philosophiae Scientiarum 3 (2):5-31.
    For four decades it has been argued that we need to adopt a new conception of science called aim-oriented empiricism. This has far-reaching implications and repercussions for science, the philosophy of science, academic inquiry in general, conception of rationality, and how we go about attempting to make progress towards as good a world as possible. Despite these far-reaching repercussions, aim-oriented empiricism has so far received scant attention from philosophers of science. Here, sixteen objections to the validity of the argument for (...)
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  30. Trivial and Non-Trivial (yet Difficult) Physicalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2015 - Philosophical Inquiries 3 (1):29-38.
    According to physicalism, everything is physical, namely there are no entities (or no more restricted sorts of entities) that are not physical. In this paper, I shall examine the truth of this thesis by presenting a triviality objection against physicalism that is somehow similar to the one advanced against presentism. Firstly, I shall distinguish between two different definitions of the physical (roughly, every entity is physical-1 iff it has some feature F, such as impenetrability or exact spatio-temporal location, while every (...)
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  31. Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms (...)
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  32. The Problem of Extras and the Contingency of Physicalism.Robert Francescotti - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):241-254.
    Perhaps all concrete phenomena obtain solely in virtue of physical phenomena. Even so, it seems that the world could have been otherwise. It seems that physicalism, if true, is contingently true. In fact, many believe that the actual truth of physicalism allows metaphysically possible worlds duplicating the actual world in all physical respects while containing immaterial extras, e.g. ghosts, spirits, or Cartesian souls, that no physicalist would believe actually exist. Here I focus on physicalism regarding mentality and argue that the (...)
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  33. Causal Realism in the Philosophy of Mind.Ben Gibran - 2014 - Essays in Philosophy 15 (2):299-313.
    Causal realism is the view that causation is a structural feature of reality; a power inherent in the world to produce effects, independently of the existence of minds or observers. This article suggests that certain problems in the philosophy of mind are artefacts of causal realism; because they presuppose the existence or possibility of a mind-independent causal nexus between the ‘physical’ and the ‘mental’. These dilemmas include the 'hard problem' of consciousness, and the problems of free will and mental causality. (...)
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  34. Pereboom’s Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1191-1207.
    Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it (...)
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  35. Taking the Nature of God Seriously.Nicholas Maxwell - 2013 - In Jeanine Diller Diller & Asa Kasher (eds.), Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities. Springer.
    Once it is appreciated that it is not possible for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God to exist, the important question arises: What does exist that is closest to, and captures the best of what is in, the traditional conception of God? In this paper I set out to answer that question. The first step that needs to be taken is to sever the God-of-cosmic-power from the God-of-cosmic-value. The first is Einstein’s God, the underlying dynamic unity in the physical universe which (...)
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  36. Physicalism and Moorean Supervenience.Thomas W. Polger - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):72-92.
    G. E. Moore argues that goodness is an intrinsic non-natural property that supervenes irreducibly on the intrinsic natural properties of its bearers. Accordingly, it is often supposed that “Moorean” supervenience is incompatible with physicalism, a naturalistic thesis. In this paper I argue that Moorean supervenience is not in itself incompatible with physicalism, Moore’s ethical non-naturalism notwithstanding. Understanding why will help us to better appreciate the full range of resources available to physicalists.
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  37. How to Combine and Not to Combine Physics and Metaphysics.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks & Vassili Karakostas (eds.), Proceedings of the EPSA 2011.
    In this paper I will argue that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature it needs an “interpretation”. As I understand it, an interpretation of a physical theory amounts to offering (1) a precise formulation of its ontological claims and (2) a clear account of how such claims are related to the world of our experience. Notably, metaphysics enters importantly in both tasks: in (1), because interpreting our best physical theories requires going beyond a merely instrumentalist view (...)
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  38. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.Nicholas Maxwell - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):705-715.
    Modern science began as natural philosophy. In the time of Newton, what we call science and philosophy today – the disparate endeavours – formed one mutually interacting, integrated endeavour of natural philosophy: to improve our knowledge and understanding of the universe, and to improve our understanding of ourselves as a part of it. Profound, indeed unprecedented discoveries were made. But then natural philosophy died. It split into science on the one hand, and philosophy on the other. This happened during the (...)
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  39. Is Science All You Need? [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2012 - The Philosophers' Magazine 57 (2nd Quarter):111-112.
    Why Rosenberg's bland of nihilistic atheism is problematic.
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  40. Materialism: Replies to Comments From Readers.Stanley Salthe - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):9-11.
    The canonical developmental trajectory (CDT), as represented in this paper is both conservative and emergentist. Emerging modes of existence, as new informational constraints, require the material continuation of prior modes upon which they are launched. Informational constraints are material configurations. The paper is not meant to be a direct critique of existing views within science, but an oblique one presented as an alternative, developmental model.
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  41. The Explanatory Role of Irreducible Properties.Michael Strevens - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):754-780.
    I aim to reconcile two apparently conflicting theses: (a) Everything that can be explained, can be explained in purely physical terms, that is, using the machinery of fundamental physics, and (b) some properties that play an explanatory role in the higher level sciences are irreducible in the strong sense that they are physically undefinable: their nature cannot be described using the vocabulary of physics. I investigate the contribution that physically undefinable properties typically make to explanations in the high-level sciences, and (...)
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  42. Mind, Mortality and Material Being: Van Inwagen and the Dilemma of Material Survival of Death.Paul C. Anders - 2011 - Sophia 50 (1):25-37.
    Many religiously minded materialist philosophers have attempted to understand the doctrine of the survival of death from within a physicalist approach. Their goal is not to show the doctrine false, but to explain how it can be true. One such approach has been developed by Peter van Inwagen. After explaining what I call the duplication objection, I present van Inwagen’s proposal and show how a proponent might attempt to solve the problem of duplication. I argue that the very features of (...)
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  43. Phenomenalism in Epistemology and Physicalism in Aesthetics.Jacques Morizot - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (3):439-452.
    The starting point of this paper is the intriguing observation that Goodman has defended a phenomenalist point of view in his epistemological works and a physicalist one in aesthetics. In fact, it would certainly be more accurate to say that his focus was anti-physicalist in epistemology and anti phenomenalist in aesthetics. In any case a majority of interpreters would spontaneously have waited for a diametrically opposite choice, more consistent indeed with the positions taken by the representatives in these fields. Yet (...)
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  44. Orientations Matter.Sara Ahmed - 2010 - In Diana H. Coole & Samantha Frost (eds.), New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Duke University Press. pp. 234--258.
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  45. The Via Negativa: Not the Way to Physicalism.Robert Bishop - 2010 - Mind and Matter 8 (2):203-214.
    A recent defense of the causal argument for physicalism is to defune the physical in terms of the non-mental. This move is designed to defuse Hempel's dilemma, one version of which is taken to the problem that the physical cannot be successfully defined in terms of either present-day or a future completed physics. I argue that the inductive support offered for this non-mental move simply begs the question for physicalism.
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  46. Can Any Sciences Be Special?David Papineau - 2010 - In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 179--197.
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  47. Dualistic Materialism.Joseph Almog - 2009 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
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  48. Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism.Fernando Birman - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):207-225.
    The literature on physicalism often fails to elucidate, I think, what the word physical in physical ism precisely means. Philosophers speak at times of an ideal set of fundamental physical facts, or they stipulate that physical means non-mental , such that all fundamental physical facts are fundamental facts pertaining to the non-mental. In this article, I will probe physicalism in the very much tangible framework of quantum mechanics. Although this theory, unlike “ideal physics” or some “final theory of non-mentality”, is (...)
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  49. Against Materialism.Laurence BonJour - 2009 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
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  50. The Waning of Materialism.Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a sustained critique of materialism. The contributors offer arguments from conscious experience, rational thought, the interaction of mind and body, and the unity and persisting identity of human persons, and develop a wide range of alternatives.
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1 — 50 / 105