Questions tagged [physicalism]

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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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
86 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 ...
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3 votes
4 answers
130 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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
335 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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How to define "physical substance"?

Physicalism is a form of ontological monism - claim that there is only one substance, and this substance is physical. What is meant here by physical substance? It could mean that only quantities ...
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8 votes
4 answers
769 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
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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....
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1 vote
5 answers
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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, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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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: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
5 answers
264 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
389 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is physicalism an unfalsifiable position?

A follow up from this question: is materialism a self refuting position Does physicalism include epistemological principles that make it impossible to disprove by its own standard ? If I am a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Debate on dualism, physicalism. etc in philosophy of mind

(I do not have a philosophy background but I do read philosophy myself.) I have read some review papers of emergence theory, where philosophy of mind is a major battle ground. I find an absence of a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
558 views

Does strong AI disprove physicalism?

This question is motivated by a comment to an answer I provided to another question about John Searle and the Chinese Room Argument: What relevance, if any, does collective memory in ants have to John ...
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2 votes
1 answer
116 views

What's the problem with taking physicalism as "all there is is physical, so no problem between abstract/conceptual and physical can exist"?

What's the problem with taking physicalism as "all there is is physical, so no problem between abstract/conceptual and physical can exist"? Why is "all there is is physical" not enough? Why does one ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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The philosophical relationship of morality, rationalism, atheism and physicalism

I am an atheist and I hold a physicalist view of the world, that the world is made but of one kind of stuff (call it "physical", if you want) and the universe is composed only of one kind of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
175 views

What is the definition of physical? Is that definition clear enough to make the a distinction between physical and non-physical?

Awkwardly synthesizing jobermark's old question Is there a boundary on 'physical'? with my (badly put) question Can physics talk about non-physical entities/concepts, and if not which academic ...
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2 votes
3 answers
120 views

Does physicalism imply everything can be defined?

Does physicalism imply everything can be defined at least to a certain extent?
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2 votes
1 answer
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Do materialists today consider physical forces as created from matter?

The distinction from materialism and physicalism is usually that materialists believe everything is matter, and physicalists believe that everything is physical, which lets them include modern science ...
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2 votes
0 answers
122 views

Does the Knowledge argument refute physicalism?

Is there any research that disproves Jackson's three premises? Is there any research which argues that Mary does not learn all the physical facts whilst in the room, because experience itself ...
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1 vote
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Is my personal identity physical? [duplicate]

In the context of physicalism, Is it consistent to think that I am what I experience and also the physical processes which give rise to my experiences?
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2 votes
3 answers
349 views

Physicalistic alternatives to utilitarianism?

In one episode, Doctor Who finds out he's trapped on a horror-like island and he finds out his time machine he could escape with is frozen in the hardest rock on earth. He also finds out that every ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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If consciousness was an illusion, would it be less real?

Even though qualia are generally considered to be unexplainable, there are philosophers like Daniel Dennett attempting to get to the core of consciousness with scientific methods. In his view, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is the "speed of time" perception a quale we can share?

The perception of time seems to be a quale as every other else. Though, the unique thing about it could be that it's actually measurable. People regulate their drowsiness by objective factors like ...
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1 answer
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Does physicalism think a priori knowledge exists?

Does physicalism think a priori knowledge exists? If so, how is this knowledge explained? Is the idea like morality being coded in DNA?
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0 votes
0 answers
92 views

Physicalism: If consciousness isn't an illusion, what's its nature? What are the best clues?

I'm asking very generally so I'm expecting very general answers. I've read the answers from the question: How can consciousness be an illusion? and I pretty much got understanding of how our brain ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Am I just a force of nature? (physicalist determinism)

I was pondering for a while on determinism and had a hard time explaining how we living things are seemingly able to change our surroundings by force of will. Inanimate object can change their ...
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1 vote
5 answers
404 views

How does Physicalism treat "non-physical" things such as ethics?

To me Physicalism seems to miss some aspects of animals, such as that their behavior may not be entirely physically explained. How does Physicalism treat "non-physical" things such as ethics?
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3 votes
1 answer
595 views

How does the physicalism discuss the line between life and death?

In this day and age with modern medicine, the line between life and death are blurred, as the brain dead may act as if it's alive, and the alive, due to being comatose may be reposed as if dead. What ...
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7 votes
4 answers
287 views

Physicalism versus dualism: is it reasonable to assign a burden of proof to one party?

I've been watching some video lectures online, and in some of the videos, the professor argues essentially as follows: Both the dualist and the physicalist believe in the body. This is status quo....
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1 vote
2 answers
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My thought experiment on consciousness

Scenario 1: Somebody removed your brain, destroyed it, and then replaced it with another which was identical (and replaced all the connections as they were). Essentially every atom/molecule would be ...
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3 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the difference between hard determinism and compatibilism, under the assumption of physicalism?

(For the purposes of this question, I am assuming that some form of physicalism holds.) When I read about hard determinism and compatibilism, it struck me that they seem to be placing different ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does physicalism imply no truth?

It seems to me that the act of searching for truth, finding truth, and expressing truth is all just transformations of matter (and energy). For example, suppose I am proving some mathematical theorem....
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