Questions tagged [physicalism]

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What is lost upon death?

If something at the moment of death contains the same matter as that something when alive, what is lost? How does physicalism (physical monism) explain what that loss is?
8Mad0Manc8's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

What's the difference between supervenience and reduction?

From IEP, supervenience is defined as follows: F, supervenes on a class of properties, G, just in case there is no difference in F-properties without some difference in G-properties. My question is, ...
John Smith's user avatar
10 votes
14 answers
4k views

How do we know that the mind is not a physical entity?

Most people believe that the mind is separate from the physical world. But how do we actually know that? Maybe the mind is a physical object. Of course, to answer this question, we need a rigorous ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
383 views

Which is the best explanation of the mind body relation, dualism or physicalism? [closed]

As far a my knowledge of philosophy there is two schools of thought dualism that the human mind is separate from the physical body, and the other school of thought is physicalism that the mind is ...
8Mad0Manc8's user avatar
4 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is it possible that non-living systems possess consciousness?

This relates to the physical nature of matter, not to metaphysics. I cannot find a robust, universal definition of consciousness, so perhaps the question is meaningless. I am thinking of the behaviour ...
Meanach's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
76 views

How in a purely physical universe would a perfect recreation of a human not necessarily imply a "transfer" of its conciousness? [closed]

I've been kicking around this idea for a while and I have attempted to propose it in different forums yet the idea is treated as illogical but I cannot find/understand why it would be so impossible. ...
Decod621's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
152 views

Physics and the question of context or environment

This is a reality check type of question. I am interested in whether it's a valid distinction and whether it's been considered by others. It occured to me the other day that the issue of 'context' or '...
Wayfarer's user avatar
  • 574
6 votes
11 answers
4k views

The ultimate absurdity: if consciousness is an illusion, how can anything we know be real?

Epiphenomenalism holds that conscious experience is an ineffectual by-product of brain activities. Eliminationists go further and add that this by-product is an illusion. I was wondering whether ...
infatuated's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers
91 views

Can god be physical? [closed]

If god is completely non physical without any physical embodiment, it is hard to imagine how he can cause a physical effect. The only notions of non physical causes is our human consciousness arguably....
thinkingman's user avatar
8 votes
11 answers
3k views

Do non physical causes exist?

When we decide to move an arm, some argue that it is an example of a mental event causing a physical effect. But doesn’t recent science show that free will may be illusory and from a time perspective, ...
thinkingman's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

How do modern platonists explain the objective, specific connections between the physical and abstract?

There seems to be an entirely objective, human-independent way in which specific physical objects relate/correspond to specific abstract objects. Example, we don't think the abstract inverse cube law ...
J Kusin's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
197 views

Problems with saying that our universe is physically closed (reformulating Kant's antinomies)

Initial caveat: some misapprehension seems to have arisen over my reference to physical sets. But in this, I am trying to follow the language of modern topology, which seems to be applied everywhere ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
8 answers
3k views

What do professional philosophers mean by physicalism or "everything is physical"

What do professional philosophers mean by "physicalism" ? The definition I use is that physicalism is the worldview that the entities that actually exist in the world are those used for ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
379 views

Fatalism vs Determinism vs Free-Will

To my understanding, physical causal Determinism means that if E is a physical event, then there is a physical event C such that C causes E. Fatalism means that if some event C happens, then any event ...
PW_246's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
128 views

Successfully mapping qualia to the physical?

So physicalists seem to often try to map qualia to something physical but then run into the problem: Leibniz’s argument seems to be this: the visitor of the machine, upon entering it, would observe ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
87 views

How does representationalism respond to the "Mary's room argument"?

So here's Frank Jackson himself responding to his own argument using "representationalism": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPT0BE1WAHk So as I'm understanding Frank's newer view... when ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
  • 3,001
4 votes
2 answers
370 views

Objections to token-token identity theory in philosophy of mind

There are well known objections to type-type identity (IEP) such as multiple realization and Kripke's argument, but I don't know any objections acceptable (by the majority of philosophers) to this ...
Arian's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
273 views

Freud and (German) idealism

The French wikipedia article on German romanticism mentions a very strong tie between Freud psychoanalysis and German romanticism. German romantism is also said to have strong link with German ...
Starckman's user avatar
  • 1,508
-1 votes
3 answers
145 views

What is the definition of a physical thing?

Physicalism is the view that only the physical exists. But that raises the question, what is the definition of a physical thing or object? Has any philosopher defined physicality? I would like some ...
user107952's user avatar
  • 6,194
-2 votes
1 answer
114 views

The symbol grounding problem, physicalism and 2nd law of thermodynamics?

How does a physicalist resolve this dilemma (and what is it known as)? Consider a physicalist who wants to solve the symbol grounding problem. He postulates that a particular brain configuration ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

The mechanistic view, information and thermodynamics?

Consider the following fictional dialogue between a someone A, who holds the view the universe is mechanistic and someone B, who doesn't. A: Everything that exists in the world is purely physical. B: ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
174 views

Is physicalism ultimately essentialist?

Classical Greek atomism arose basically as a response to the Eleatic criticism of the concept of change. The Eleatic argument was basically that if X=Y, then all properties of X must also be ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

On the connection between science and reality

My question is basically targetting various sciences that we use to understnad the real world and how we form laws in them. For example, in physics, we first see sometthing in the real world. Let it ...
Aveer Singh's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
173 views

Experience as an initial value problem?

Question The argument seems to say just as I have a physical initial value problem and with the laws of physics tell the time evolution, similarly, I can have an initial value problem of experience ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
173 views

Scrutiny on the definition of the Turing Machine?

Wiki states: A Turing machine is a mathematical model of computation describing an abstract machine that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Has this intuitive ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
572 views

PhilPapers Survey 2020, Why do so many physicalists deny consciousness of future AI systems?

According to PhilPapers Survey from 2020 there are 239 philosophers who identify as accepting or leaning towards Physicalism and yet reject consciousness of future AI. To me this seems very puzzling, ...
ArAj's user avatar
  • 803
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

Non-random indeterminism in physicalist reductionism?

In lectures on free will, often a dichotomy between determinism and random is alluded. This dichotomy always is not a true dichotomy, there are some known and even trivial examples of non-random ...
tkruse's user avatar
  • 3,544
0 votes
3 answers
274 views

Which arguments support Dualism as the best view of the human person?

If you had to choose between Dualism, Physicalism, and Hylomorphism, which one do you think is more likely to be accurate and why? I think Dualism is the most plausible, but that might be because I am ...
Cristiana's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
927 views

Physicalism + book recommendations

I'm 17 years old and I'm starting out in philosophy on my own. To get started I would like to get to know myself more and the way I think since according to what I have researched, I could define ...
WiseMode's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Emergence and status of the wave function, do any philosophers define physics and physicalism in 21st Century?

Emergence not as the antithesis of physical reduction, more the realization every level can be wildly different. This view of emergence supports reduction, that things are just quarks and fields after ...
J Kusin's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
54 views

Something similar to The Knowledge Argument which works within Physicalism?

Here is The Knowledge Argument according to SEP (Mary is either monochrome or views the world through monochrome monitor): (1) Mary has all the physical information concerning human color vision ...
J Kusin's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
49 views

Knowing the laws of the universe but not its total state or ontology, what does philosophy have to say?

Since GR but also in special relativity and QM we can have laws, yet never access to the total physical state of the universe at any time. And that the ontology of science, the physical, is changing ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,620
1 vote
2 answers
99 views

How does a dualist explain changing their mind?

If I'm a monist about the mind and physicalism and/or causal determinism, when I change my mind about some topic, I can posit something causally linked to my mind as changing my opinion. Perhaps I ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,620
1 vote
1 answer
245 views

Experiment to prove that dualism is true

To prove experimentally that dualism is true, the dualist would need to show that: Let be a person in physical state A at some instant t1 with conscious experience X. Now, in another instant t2, the ...
Carlitos_30's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
245 views

How can materialists make claims?

I dont have all the modern philosophical terms down, but I cannot see how materialists/physicalists can make any claims. If there is nothing but physical universe, then there is no “truth”. Actually ...
Al Brown's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Every experience is a new qualia? In reference to Dennett and RoboMary

Preliminary: RoboMary is a robot, but so are we - large robots made of smaller robots made of smaller robots. She does not yet have the experience of color. Dennett puts forth a physicalist way for ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,620
1 vote
5 answers
223 views

Is a physical process identical to an algorithm computing it?

I have read three questions about algorithms and their relation to the human brain. Two recent ones: Question on Godel's Remark on Algorithmic Nature of Mind and: Why doesn't Searle's ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
351 views

Physicalism - continuity of personal identity

What is the physicalist view on the continuity of personal identity? For example, suppose something terrible will happen to my body in the far future... would the physicalist say it's rational to be ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
  • 3,001
0 votes
1 answer
128 views

How can we formally define the laws of a physical universe?

Have any philosophers come up with a workable formal, mathematical definition for what the laws of an arbitrary physical universe might be? Such a definition would need to allow specification of ...
causative's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Is there a materialist explanation for the type-token distinction?

Is there a materialist theory in philosophy that goes beyond giving a dictionary definition of the type/token distinction and attempts to explain what types and tokens really are in material terms, e....
ali's user avatar
  • 257
1 vote
5 answers
419 views

What's the relationship between physical and logical causation?

I have always presumed that logical causation - such as logical rules like the formation of a valid syllogism, or the law of the excluded middle - operate independently of physical causation. That is, ...
Wayfarer's user avatar
  • 574
4 votes
2 answers
172 views

Is Polanyi's critique of physicalist view of the mind flawed?

In Personal Knowledge chapter 11 Polanyi elaborates his critique of the "physico-chemical investigations of a machine" by carefully dividing reasons and causes as types of explanations: ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Where does computations occur, in Mind or in Matter?

Short and silly question, but it opens-up to a separation of idealism and materialism on the basis of information. If computations (in the scenario of a materialistic-computational perspective of the ...
Gloserio's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
127 views

Do panpsychism and its variants (such as Russellian monism) face an interaction problem?

Many philosophers of the mind—such as David Chalmers, Galen Strawson and Philip Goff—have become sympathetic to variants of panpsychism when it comes to explaining consciousness. Yet, on their own ...
natojato's user avatar
  • 990
2 votes
2 answers
516 views

Which kind of physics does everything reduce to?

I don't know whether the proper term is Physicalism or Physical Reductionism (it's Reductive Physicalism--thank you, Conifold), but what I'm referring to is the position that everything reduces to ...
Willie Betmore's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Would it be trivial to think the physical as those entities which are necessary for a maximally complete physics?

I've been studying physicalism for a presentation I'll be doing on Shelly Kagan's book Death. One of the slides is on its problems, and one of those problems is that we don't have a clear definition ...
Brendon Espinoza's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
482 views

Is the concept of information nonphysical?

To keep within the guidelines of only asking questions that have a definite answer, I will stipulate that I am asking about cases where the question has been considered in an academically respectable ...
A Raybould's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
513 views

How is the causality of mind consistent with the law of conservation of energy?

How is the causality of mind consistent with the law of conservation of energy? Intuitively, the mind can influence the physical world (with causality), and it is hard to see how such causality does ...
AnduinWilde's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
768 views

How can complex material systems emerge in ways that allow them to transcend fundamental material structures?

One of the quandaries of reductionism from what I understand is how complex systems can emerge to overtake simple ones. This may sound convoluted, so bear with me as I try to explain. According to a ...
natojato's user avatar
  • 990
2 votes
2 answers
144 views

Is there an argument against physicalism on the grounds that the view would make what we call a subjective experience astronomically unlikely?

If we assume that physcialism is true and all that there is, then we can safely assume that what we think of as subjective experience and consciousness, is driven by the atoms in our brain and the ...
83457's user avatar
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