I am trying to figure the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism. As far as I could tell, they were the same thing, except that physicalism (physicalist vs dualist) was the term used when discussing philosophy of mind and naturalism was the term used when discussing philosophy of religion (natural vs super-natural).
I came across a previous question: What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?. In the accepted answer to that post, it is stated that:
The branch called Ontological Naturalism focuses on how science can explain the world fully with physical laws.
This is pretty much a text book definition of physicalism - other than the fact that it doesn't refer specifically to the mind-body problem, so it seems that my original thought was confirmed. But in a second answer which purports to complement the accepted one, it is stated that:
naturalism does not presuppose materialism (or physicalism,..)
And then, quoting David Chalmers,:
allowing that ultimately the universe comes down to a network of basic entities obeying simple laws, and allowing that there may ultimately be a theory of consciousness cast in terms of such laws. If the position is to have a name, a good choice might be naturalistic dualism.
On one hand physicalism and naturalism are basically the same thing: What ever we can observe in Nature is all there is (a monistic ontology), and Nature follows a set of rules that we are able to gradual discover.
On the other hand, physicalism is a monistic ontology, while naturalism eventually allows for a dualist ontology.
- The two answers are contradictory: Are physicalism and naturalism the same? or are they different? Which one is it?
- Even allowing for David Chalmers's Naturalistic Dualism, there still seems to be an inconsistency? Why does the mental warrant it's own ontology, while everything else doesn't? Why can't we have a triaistic ontology (matter, energy, and mental)? Or pentic ontology (baryonic matter, Fermionic matter, energy, logical, ethical)? Or any arbitrary number of ontologies?
- Doesn't Chalmers definition become circular? Naturalism is the ontology of whatever exists? If tomorrow we discover that angels and demons are real, than we just bring them into the fold and call it naturalism as well?