Lightweight and Heavyweight Anti-physicalism

Synthese 200 (112):1-23 (2022)
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I define two metaphysical positions that anti-physicalists can take in response to Jonathan Schaffer’s ground functionalism. Ground functionalism is a version of physicalism where explanatory gaps are everywhere. If ground functionalism is true, arguments against physicalism based on the explanatory gap between the physical and experiential facts fail. In response, first, I argue that some anti-physicalists are already safe from Schaffer’s challenge. These anti-physicalists reject an underlying assumption of ground functionalism: the assumption that macrophysical entities are something over and above the fundamental entities. I call their position “lightweight anti-physicalism.” Second, I go on to argue that even if anti-physicalists accept Schaffer’s underlying assumption, they can still argue that the consciousness explanatory gap is especially mysterious and thus requires a special explanation. I call the resulting position “heavyweight anti-physicalism.” In both cases, the consciousness explanatory gap is a good way to argue against physicalism.

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Damian Aleksiev
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Grounding physicalism and the knowledge argument.Alex Moran - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):269-289.
Revelation and the Appearance/Reality Distinction.Michelle Liu - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
Grounding Physicalism and "Moorean" Connections.Alex Moran - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.

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References found in this work

On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.

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