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  1. The Frontloading Argument.Richard G. Heck - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2583-2608.
    Maybe the most important argument in David Chalmers’s monumental book Constructing the World is the one he calls the ‘Frontloading Argument’, which is used in Chapter 4 to argue for the book’s central thesis, A Priori Scrutability. And, at first blush, the Frontloading Argument looks very strong. I argue here, however, that it is incapable of securing the conclusion it is meant to establish.
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  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts.Daniel Stoljar - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):469-494.
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  • Explanatory Perspectivalism: Limiting the Scope of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Daniel Kostić - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):119-125.
    I argue that the hard problem of consciousness occurs only in very limited contexts. My argument is based on the idea of explanatory perspectivalism, according to which what we want to know about a phenomenon determines the type of explanation we use to understand it. To that effect the hard problem arises only in regard to questions such as how is it that concepts of subjective experience can refer to physical properties, but not concerning questions such as what gives rise (...)
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  • The Epistemology of ‘Just is’-Statements.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2599-2607.
    Agustín Rayo’s The Construction of Logical Space offers an exciting and ambitious defense of a broadly Carnapian approach to metaphysics. This essay will focus on one of the main differences between Rayo’s and Carnap’s approaches. Carnap distinguished between analytic, a priori “meaning postulates”, and empirical claims, which were both synthetic and knowable only a posteriori. Like meaning postulates, they determine the boundaries of logical space. But Rayo is skeptical that the a priori/a posteriori or analytic/synthetic distinctions can do the work (...)
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  • Law-Determination as Grounding: A Common Grounding Framework for Jurisprudence.Samuele Chilovi & George Pavlakos - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (1):1-24.
    Law being a derivative feature of reality, it exists in virtue of more fundamental things, upon which it depends. This raises the question of what is the relation of dependence that holds between law and its more basic determinants. The primary aim of this paper is to argue that grounding is that relation. We first make a positive case for this claim, and then we defend it from the potential objection that the relevant relation is rather rational determination (Greenberg 2004, (...)
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  • Does the Explanatory Gap Rest on a Fallacy?François Kammerer - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    Many philosophers have tried to defend physicalism concerning phenomenal consciousness, by explaining dualist intuitions within a purely physicalist framework. One of the most common strategies to do so consists in interpreting the alleged “explanatory gap” between phenomenal states and physical states as resulting from a fallacy, or a cognitive illusion. In this paper, I argue that the explanatory gap does not rest on a fallacy or a cognitive illusion. This does not imply the falsity of physicalism, but it has consequences (...)
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  • Promises as Proposals in Joint Practical Deliberation.Brendan de Kenessey - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Two Conceptions of the Physical.Daniel Stoliar - 2001 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):253-281.
    The debate over physicalism in philosophy of mind can be seen as concerning an inconsistent tetrad of theses: if physicalism is true, a priori physicalism is true; a priori physicalism is false; if physicalism is false, epiphenomenalism is true; epiphenomenalism is false. This paper argues that one may resolve the debate by distinguishing two conceptions of the physical: on the theory-based conception, it is plausible that is true and is false; on the object-based conception, it is plausible that is true (...)
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  • Concepts and Conceptual Analysis.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):253-282.
    Conceptual analysis is undergoing a revival in philosophy, and much of the credit goes to Frank Jackson. Jackson argues that conceptual analysis is needed as an integral component of so-called serious metaphysics and that it also does explanatory work in accounting for such phenomena as categorization, meaning change, communication, and linguistic understanding. He even goes so far as to argue that opponents of concep- tual analysis are implicitly committed to it in practice. We show that he is wrong on all (...)
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  • Against A Priori Reductions.Laura Schroeter - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):562-586.
    According to David Chalmers and Frank Jackson, conceptual competence puts one in a position to have a priori knowledge of conditional claims of the form ‘If my environment is thus and so, then water = H2O’. The rationale for this position, I argue, rests on controversial semantic assumptions about the individuation of meanings or concepts. I sketch a new model of conceptual competence, which undermines the apriority of such conditionals.
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  • Dynamical Agents: Consciousness, Causation, and Two Specters of Epiphenomenalism.Liam Dempsey & Itay Shani - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2):225-243.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the causal efficacy of consciousness against two specters of epiphenomenalism. We argue that these challenges are best met, on the one hand, by rejecting all forms of consciousness-body dualism, and on the other, by adopting a dynamical systems approach to understanding the causal efficacy of conscious experience. We argue that this non-reductive identity theory provides the theoretical resources for reconciling the reality and efficacy of consciousness with the neurophysiology of the brain and (...)
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  • Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
    As a first pass, physicalism is the doctrine that there is nothing over and above the physical. Much recent philosophical work has been devoted to spelling out what this means in more rigorous terms and to assessing the case for the view. What follows is a survey of such work. I begin by looking at competing accounts of what is meant by nothing over and above and then turn to how the physical should be understood. Once we are clear on (...)
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  • Of Brains and Planets: On a Causal Criterion for Mind-Brain Identities.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1177-1189.
    Whether mental properties are identical with neural properties is one of the central questions of contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers agree that even if mental properties are identical with neural properties, the mind-brain identity thesis cannot be established on empirical grounds, but only be vindicated by theoretical philosophical considerations. In his paper ‘When Is a Brain Like the Planet?’, Clark Glymour proposes a causal criterion for local property identifications and claims that this criterion can be used to empirically establish (...)
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  • Against Normative Naturalism.Matthew S. Bedke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):111 - 129.
    This paper considers normative naturalism, understood as the view that (i) normative sentences are descriptive of the way things are, and (ii) their truth/falsity does not require ontology beyond the ontology of the natural world. Assuming (i) for the sake of argument, I here show that (ii) is false not only as applied to ethics, but more generally as applied to practical and epistemic normativity across the board. The argument is a descendant of Moore's Open Question Argument and Hume's Is-Ought (...)
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  • A Priori Entailment and Conceptual Analysis: Making Room for Type-C Physicalism.J. L. Dowell - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):93 – 111.
    One strategy for blocking Chalmers's overall case against physicalism has been to deny his claim that showing that phenomenal properties are in some sense physical requires an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones. Here I avoid this well-trodden ground and argue instead that an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones does not require an analysis in the Jackson/Chalmers sense. This is to sever the dualist's link between conceptual analysis and a (...)
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  • Three Strands in Kripke's Argument Against the Identity Theory.Jesper Kallestrup - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1255-1280.
    Kripke's argument against the identity theory in the philosophy of mind runs as follows. Suppose some psychophysical identity statement S is true. Then S would seem to be contingent at least in the sense that S seems possibly false. And given that seeming contingency entails genuine contingency when it comes to such statements S is contingent. But S is necessary if true. So S is false. This entry considers responses to each of the three premises. It turns out that each (...)
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  • Physicalism, Truthmaking, and Levels of Reality: Prospects and Problems.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):473-482.
    This paper considers the extent to which the notion of truthmaking can play a substantive role in defining physicalism. While a truthmaking-based approach to physicalism is prima facie attractive, there is some reason to doubt that truthmaking can do much work when it comes to understanding physicalism, and perhaps austere metaphysical frameworks in general. First, despite promising to dispense with higher-level properties and states, truthmaking appears to make little progress on issues concerning higher-level items and how they are related to (...)
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  • The Hard Problem & Its Explanatory Targets.Raamy Majeed - 2016 - Ratio 29 (3):298-311.
    Two decades in, whether we are making any progress towards solving, or even explaining away, what David Chalmers calls the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness is as controversial as ever. This paper aims to argue that there are, in actual fact, two explanatory targets associated with the hard problem. Moreover, this in turn has repercussions for how we assess the explanatory merits of any proposed solution to the problem. The paper ends with a brief exposition of how the present distinction goes (...)
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  • Consciousness, Type Physicalism, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Brian P. McLaughlin - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):266-304.
  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts.Daniel Stoljar - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):296-302.
    A phenomenal concept is the concept of a particular type of sensory or perceptual experience, where the notion of experience is understood phenomenologically. A recent and increasingly influential idea in philosophy of mind suggests that reflection on these concepts will play a major role in the debate about conscious experience, and in particular in the defense of physicalism, the thesis that psychological truths supervene on physical truths. According to this idea.
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  • Conceptual Analysis and Epistemic Progress.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3053-3074.
    This essay concerns the question of how we make genuine epistemic progress through conceptual analysis. Our way into this issue will be through consideration of the paradox of analysis. The paradox challenges us to explain how a given statement can make a substantive contribution to our knowledge, even while it purports merely to make explicit what one’s grasp of the concept under scrutiny consists in. The paradox is often treated primarily as a semantic puzzle. However, in “Sect. 1” I argue (...)
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  • Serious Metaphysics and the Vindication of Reductions.J. L. Dowell - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):91-110.
    What would be sufficient to show of some apparently higher-level property that it is 'nothing over and above' some complex configuration of more basic properties? This paper defends a new method for justifying reductions by demonstrating its comparative advantages over two methods recently defended in the literature. Unlike its rivals, what I'll call "the semantic method" makes a reduction's truth epistemically transparent without relying on conceptual analyses.
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  • Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Cynthia Macdonald - 2007 - Philosophical Books 48 (2):155-161.
  • Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):3-24.
    How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality (...)
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  • Physicalism, Conceivability and Strong Necessities.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):273-295.
    David Chalmers' conceivability argument against physicalism relies on the entailment from a priori conceivability to metaphysical possibility. The a posteriori physicalist rejects this premise, but is consequently committed to psychophysical strong necessities. These don't fit into the Kripkean model of the necessary a posteriori, and they are therefore, according to Chalmers, problematic. But given semantic assumptions that are essential to the conceivability argument, there is reason to believe in microphysical strong necessities. This means that some of Chalmers' criticism is unwarranted, (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Possibility.Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  • The Evidential Status of Philosophical Intuition.Janet Levin - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (3):193-224.
    Philosophers have traditionally held that claims about necessities and possibilities are to be evaluated by consulting our philosophical intuitions; that is, those peculiarly compelling deliverances about possibilities that arise from a serious and reflective attempt to conceive of counterexamples to these claims. But many contemporary philosophers, particularly naturalists, argue that intuitions of this sort are unreliable, citing examples of once-intuitive, but now abandoned, philosophical theses, as well as recent psychological studies that seem to establish the general fallibility of intuition.In the (...)
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  • The Inner Game of Sport: Is Everything in the Brain?Jens E. Birch - 2010 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (3):284-305.
    The article deals with the following: Three brain imaging studies on athletes are evaluated. What do these neuroscientific studies tell us about the brain and mind of the athlete? Empirical investigations will need a neuro-theory of mind if they are to make the leap from neural activity to the mental. The article looks at such a theory, Gerald Edelman's?Neural Darwinism?. What are the implications of such a theory for sport science and philosophy of sport? The article appreciates some of the (...)
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  • Empirical Metaphysics: The Role of Intuitions About Possible Cases in Philosophy.J. L. Dowell - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (1):19-46.
    Frank Jackson has argued that only if we have a priori knowledge of the extension-fixers for many of our terms can we vindicate the methodological practice of relying on intuitions to decide between philosophical theories. While there has been much discussion of Jackson’s claim that we have such knowledge, there has been comparatively little discussion of this most powerful argument for that claim. Here I defend an alternative explanation of our intuitions about possible cases, one that does not rely on (...)
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  • Phenomenal Feel as Process.L. A. Paul - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):204-222.
    Phenomenal character is the what-it's-likeness of subjective experience. I develop an ontology of phenomenal feel as process. My being in some phenomenal state R is the process of my instantiating R’s neurological correlate. The ontology explains why we have asymmetric epistemic access to phenomenal characters: the ontological ground for the subjective or first-personal stance is different from the ontological ground for the objective or third-personal stance. I end by situating my account in debates about physicalism.
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  • When is a Brain Like the Planet?Clark Glymour - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (3):330-347.
    Time series of macroscopic quantities that are aggregates of microscopic quantities, with unknown one‐many relations between macroscopic and microscopic states, are common in applied sciences, from economics to climate studies. When such time series of macroscopic quantities are claimed to be causal, the causal relations postulated are representable by a directed acyclic graph and associated probability distribution—sometimes called a dynamical Bayes net. Causal interpretations of such series imply claims that hypothetical manipulations of macroscopic variables have unambiguous effects on variables “downstream” (...)
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  • Constructing the World. By David Chalmers. Oxford University Press, 2012, Pp. 528, £30. ISBN: 978-0-19-960857-7. [REVIEW]Justin Tiehen - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (4):630-635.
    A review of Constructing the World, by David Chalmers.
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  • Réduction «Rôle-Occupant», Réduction «Micro-Macro» Et Explication Réductrice a Priori.Max Kistler - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (2):225-248.
    Selon une thése importante, il est en principe possible de déduire de manière a priori la plupart des vérités macroscopiques d’une (hypothétique) description complète du monde en termes microphysiques P, et donc de construire des explications réductrices a priori. Contre cette thèse, je montre que l’explication réductrice requiert des informations sur les phénomènes à réduire qui ne peuvent pas être extraites a priori des seules informations microphysiques. De telles réductions ont deux parties : une «reductionRO» («role-occupant») établit qu’une macropropriété M (...)
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  • In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1.Katalin Balog - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
    During the last two decades, several different anti-physicalist arguments based on an epistemic or conceptual gap between the phenomenal and the physical have been proposed. The most promising physicalist line of defense in the face of these arguments – the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – is based on the idea that these epistemic and conceptual gaps can be explained by appeal to the nature of phenomenal concepts rather than the nature of non-physical phenomenal properties. Phenomenal concepts, on this proposal, involve unique (...)
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  • Modal Rationalism and Modal Monism.Anand Vaidya - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):191-212.
    Modal rationalism includes the thesis that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary possibility. Modal monism is the thesis that the space of logically possible worlds is coextensive with the space of metaphysically possible worlds. In this paper I explore the relation between the two theses. My aim is to show that the former thesis implies the latter thesis, and that problems with the latter make the former implausible as a complete picture of the epistemology of modality. My argument explores the (...)
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  • Events, Agents, and Settling Whether and How One Intervenes.Jason Runyan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1629-1646.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s settling of whether certain states-of-affairs obtain on a particular occasion can be reduced to the causing of events by certain mental events or states, such as certain desires, beliefs and/or intentions. Agent-causal libertarians disagree. A common critique against event-causal libertarian accounts is that the agent’s role of settling matters is left unfilled and the agent “disappears” from such accounts—a problem known as the disappearing agent problem. Recently, Franklin has argued that an “enriched” event-causal account (...)
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  • Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
    Recent interest in the nature of grounding is due in part to the idea that purely modal notions are too coarse‐grained to capture what we have in mind when we say that one thing is grounded in another. Grounding not being purely modal in character, however, is compatible with it having modal consequences. Is grounding a necessary relation? In this article I argue that the answer is ‘yes’ in the sense that propositions corresponding to full grounds modally entail propositions corresponding (...)
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  • Ghosts and Sparse Properties: Why Physicalists Have More to Fear From Ghosts Than Zombies.Philip Goff - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):119-139.
    Zombies are bodies without minds: creatures that are physically identical to actual human beings, but which have no conscious experience. Much of the consciousness literature focuses on considering how threatening philosophical reflection on such creatures is to physicalism. There is not much attention given to the converse possibility, the possibility of minds without bodies, that is, creatures who are conscious but whose nature is exhausted by their being conscious. We can call such a ‘purely conscious’ creature a ghost.
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  • Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It.Karen Bennett - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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  • Human Zombies Are Metaphysically Impossible.William Robert Webster - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):297-310.
    Chalmers has argued for a form of property dualism on the basis of the concept of a zombie , and the concept of the inverted spectrum. He asserts that these concepts show that the facts about consciousness, such as experience or qualia, are really further facts about our world, over and above the physical facts. He claims that they are the hard part of the mind-body issue. He also claims that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the world like mass, (...)
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  • Two-Dimensionalism and the Social Character of Meaning.Derek Nelson Ball - 2013 - Erkenntnis (S3):1-29.
    This paper develops and critiques the two-dimensionalist account of mental content developed by David Chalmers. I first explain Chalmers’s account and show that it resists some popular criticisms. I then argue that the main interest of two-dimensionalism lies in its accounts of cognitive significance and of the connection between conceivability and possibility. These accounts hinge on the claim that some thoughts have a primary intension that is necessarily true. In this respect, they are Carnapian, and subject to broadly Quinean attack. (...)
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  • Is Conceptual Analysis Needed for the Reduction of Qualitative States?Janet Levin - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):571-591.
    In this paper I discuss the claim that the successful reduction of qualitative to physical states requires some sort of intelligible connection between our qualitative and physical concepts, which in turn requires a conceptual analysis of our qualitative concepts in causal-functional terms. While I defend this claim against some of its recent critics, I ultimately dispute it, and propose a different way to get the requisite intelligible connection between qualitative and physical concepts.
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  • The Scientific Explanation of Colour Qualia.Jeff Foss - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (3):479.
    ABSTRACT: Qualia, the subjectively known qualities of conscious experience, are judged by many philosophers and scientists to lie beyond the domain of scientific explanation, thus making the conscious mind partly incomprehensible to the objective physical sciences. Some, like Kripke and Chalmers, employ modal logic to argue that explanations of qualia are impossible in principle. I argue that there already exist perfectly normal scientific explanations of qualia, and rebut the arguments of those who deny this possibility.
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  • The Trouble with Mary.Victoria McGeer - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):384-393.
  • The Epistemic/Ontic Divide.Barbara Montero - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):404 - 418.
    A number of philosophers think that, while we cannot explain how the mind is physical, we can know that it is physical, nonetheless. That is, they accept both the explanatory gap between the mental and the physical and ontological physicalism. I argue that this position is unstable. Among other things, I argue that once one accepts the explanatory gap, the main argument for ontological physicalism, the argument from causation, looses its force. For if one takes physical/nonphysical causation and ontological physicalism (...)
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  • A Posteriori Physicalists Get Our Phenomenal Concepts Wrong.Philip Goff - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):191 - 209.
    Dualists say plausible things about our mental concepts: there is a way of thinking of pain, in terms of how it feels, which is independent of causal role. Physicalists make attractive ontological claims: the world is wholly physical. The attraction of a posteriori physicalism is that it has seemed to do both: to agree with the dualist about our mental concepts, whilst retaining a physicalist ontology. In this paper I argue that, in fact, a posteriori physicalism departs from the dualist's (...)
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  • Conceivability, Higher Order Patterns, and Physicalism.Hilla Jacobson-Horowitz & Amir Horowitz - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (4):349-366.
  • 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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  • On the Causal Completeness of Physics.Agustín Vicente - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
    According to an increasing number of authors, the best, if not the only, argument in favour of physicalism is the so-called 'overdetermination argument'. This argument, if sound, establishes that all the entities that enter into causal interactions with the physical world are physical. One key premise in the overdetermination argument is the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, said to be supported by contemporary physics. In this paper, I examine various ways in which physics may support the (...)
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  • Phenomenal, Normative, and Other Explanatory Gaps: A General Diagnosis.Neil Mehta - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I assume that there exists a general phenomenon, the phenomenon of the explanatory gap, surrounding consciousness, normativity, intentionality, and more. Explanatory gaps are often thought to foreclose reductive possibilities wherever they appear. In response, reductivists who grant the existence of these gaps have offered countless local solutions. But typically such reductivist responses have had a serious shortcoming: because they appeal to essentially domain-specific features, they cannot be fully generalized, and in this sense these responses have been not just local but (...)
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