Papineau's physicalism

In his introduction to Philosophical Naturalism, Papineau mentions that he had intended, at one time, to call the book Philosophical Physicalism. In the end, he writes, he rejected that title, partly for fear that the term "physicalism" might have suggested commitment to a metaphysical position tied closely to the ontology and categories dictated by current physics, a commitment he is anxious not to incur; and partly because the concerns of the book as a whole are wider than would have been suggested by the rejected title. Nevertheless, the early chapters of the book make it clear that the first choice of title would have been, in some ways, a more accurate guide to the character of Papineau's convictions about a number of central issues in metaphysics, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. Specifically, Papineau's views about the relationships between what he calls "the special" and the physical in general, and between the psychological and the physical in particular, fall into a sector of naturalist territory that is indisputably physicalistic. I shall concentrate here on two lines of thought from these early chapters: the first, Papineau's characterisation of physicalism, by means of the two doctrines he calls "supervenience" and "token congruence", in Chapter 1; the second, a puzzle he raises in Chapter 2 for those who are content with a physicalism sufficiently weak to allow for variable realisation
Keywords Epistemology  Naturalism  Physicalism  Supervenience  Truth  Papineau, D
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DOI 10.2307/2108393
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