Physicalism, Truthmaking, and Levels of Reality: Prospects and Problems

Topoi 37 (3):473-482 (2018)
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Abstract

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 how things are physically. Second, it seems that truthmaking-based approaches to physicalism will have a difficult time addressing the status of truthmaking itself without, in effect, appealing to the resources of alternative ways of conceptualizing physicalism.

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Kevin Morris
Tulane University