Philosophical Review 112 (3):422-424 (2003)

Authors
Daniel Stoljar
Australian National University
Abstract
This is a book of new essays by different authors on physicalism. The essays are divided into three sections. In the first, the papers are, the editors say, “generally sympathetic” to physicalism. The opening paper, by Papineau, is a compelling historical discussion of the thesis of the completeness of physics, together with the suggestion that an appreciation of the empirical basis of this thesis led to the widespread acceptance of physicalism itself in the second part of the twentieth century. The next two papers, by Loewer and Witmer, concern the formulation of physicalism, concentrating on questions of supervenience and determination. The next two papers, by Shoemaker and Rey, concern the connection between physicalism and mental causation. Shoemaker concentrates on George Bealer’s well-known argument that functionalism has the objectionable consequence that people routinely have beliefs about the realizers of their pains, but he places the discussion in a larger framework dealing with the notion of realization and mental causation. Rey’s paper is a vigorous discussion of those who view folk psychology as being insulated in an important theoretical sense, and hence as providing no causal explanations at all. The following paper, by Robinson, makes the point that contemporary discussion of nonreductive physicalism confuses two senses of ‘reduction’, one appropriate to philosophy of science and one to philosophy of mind. The penultimate paper in this part of the volume, by Latham, is an attempt to clarify the idea of token-physicalism, while the final paper is a fascinating attack by Leeds on the Kripkean notion of metaphysical necessity.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.1215/00318108-112-3-422
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