Physicalism in an infinitely decomposable world

Erkentnis 64 (2):177-191 (2006)

Authors
Barbara Gail Montero
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Might the world be structured, as Leibniz thought, so that every part of matter is divided ad infinitum? The Physicist David Bohm accepted infinitely decomposable matter, and even Steven Weinberg, a staunch supporter of the idea that science is converging on a final theory, admits the possibility of an endless chain of ever more fundamental theories. However, if there is no fundamental level, physicalism, thought of as the view that everything is determined by fundamental phenomena and that all fundamental phenomena are physical, turns out false, for in such a world, there are no fundamental phenomena, and so fundamental phenomena determine nothing. While some take physicalism necessarily to posit a fundamental level, here I present a thesis of physicalism that allows for its truth even in an infinitely decomposable world.
Keywords Decomposition  Infinite  Metaphysics  Phenomena  Physicalism
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References found in this work BETA

Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
Is There a Fundamental Level?Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):498–517.

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On Characterizing the Physical.Jessica Wilson - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):61-99.
The Unity and Priority Arguments for Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Basinstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 171-204.
The Modal Status of Materialism.Joseph Levine & Kelly Trogdon - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):351 - 362.

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