Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa


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Justin Tiehen
University of Puget Sound
Abstract
How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality constraint. In §2 I set out my preferred definition of ‘the physical’ and make my case that physicalism requires functionalism. In §3 I defend my proposal by attacking the leading alternative account of ‘the physical,’ the theory-based conception. Finally, in §4 I draw on my definition, together with Jaegwon Kim's account of intertheoretic reduction, to defend the controversial view that physicalism requires a priori physicalism.
Keywords physicalism  functionalism  via negativa  panpsychism  reduction  a priori entailment
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DOI 10.1111/phpr.12279
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Causal Argument for Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2475-2506.
Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.

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