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Questions tagged [physicalism]

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9 votes
12 answers
3k views

Is non-physicalism reasonable?

My question has two components: Reasonableness. What does it mean for a position to be reasonable? What conditions does a position have to meet to be regarded as reasonable? Physicalism. Wikipedia ...
Mark's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
629 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
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5 votes
1 answer
736 views

Does materialism presuppose that a self is a bundle of mental states and perceptions?

The physicalist/materialist (going forward I'll use the two interchangeably) position on the mind body problem is the following: Nothing exits besides the physical and therefore the mind is just a ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
524 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
15 votes
8 answers
1k views

Is there a causal influence of the mental on the physical?

Regardless of whether the mental is ultimately physical or not... doesn't the impact of human knowledge (science, mathematics, etc) on the world (ie: technology, agriculture, basically everything), ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
  • 3,093
7 votes
4 answers
383 views

Is there a boundary on 'physical'?

I have asserted many times here that physicalism as degraded into an undecidable question, and I would like to see how strong my understanding is. It seems to me that whenever we approach the ...
user avatar
22 votes
16 answers
3k views

Is knowledge non-physical?

What is the fundamental nature/ontology of knowledge? Is knowledge a physical state? Is knowledge a specific arrangement of physical particles in a brain, a book, a solid-state drive, a GPU, etc.? Or ...
Mark's user avatar
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6 votes
11 answers
5k 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
  • 1,665
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

If zombies are possible would that imply that physicalism is false?

The SEP article on Zombies writes: Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures used to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike those in films or ...
stoicfury's user avatar
  • 11.7k
3 votes
0 answers
180 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
28 votes
3 answers
25k views

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism, if any? I see definitions of naturalism that say, in effect, it is the belief that there is no supernatural. But what is the supernatural ...
David Lewis's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is Multiple Realizability considered to have refuted the type-identity theory of the mind?

Def 1: Type-identity theory: brain states and mental states are the same thing. The mental state "I love Metallica" is nothing more than the neural configuration of a Metallica fan. Def 2: Multiple ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
429 views

Can the goals of an organism be imputed from observation?

For example: we observe an ant carrying food back to its nest. We may speak like the ant has a goal of increasing the amount of food in the nest. We observe a student proofreading an essay. We may ...
causative's user avatar
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6 votes
7 answers
805 views

Is physicalism the simplest worldview in terms of the complexity of its ontology? [closed]

Does physicalism enjoy the simplest ontology among all worldviews? Are there alternative conceivable views of reality with a simpler ontology than physicalism's that can explain the same data? For ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,037
3 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Kevin's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
770 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
  • 1,000
3 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is the difference between functionalism and property dualism?

Functionalism and property dualism are both physicalist theories of the mind in that they don't admit any substances other than physical substance. Property dualism holds that mental states are non-...
Alexander S King's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the problem with physicalism in philosophy of mind?

It seems that physicalism and functionalism in philosophy of mind has fallen out of popularity and into much criticism. I haven't delved too deeply into the literature, but I find it somewhat strange ...
Quirky Trombone's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
197 views

What are examples of non-physicalist approaches to acquiring knowledge?

As a follow-up to my previous question Is non-physicalism reasonable?, I would like to know about non-physicalist ways of acquiring knowledge that philosophers have considered. What sorts of knowledge ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,037
2 votes
1 answer
468 views

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 ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,856
8 votes
1 answer
187 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
3 answers
647 views

Existence of abstract objects for a physicalist

Let's say I'm a physicalist. Usually then, I will think of abstract objects as mental constructs, which are dictated by mental states, which, as a physicalist will say, are manifestations of physical ...
user132181's user avatar
  • 1,108
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the difference between type identity physicalism and eliminativism?

Type identity physicalism says mental states are identical with brain states. Eliminativism on the other hand states that mental states don't exist at all. Isn't this just a word game? Does it ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
855 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 ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
628 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
2 answers
442 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
  • 313
4 votes
2 answers
120 views

Can moral realism, physicalism, and physical causal closure be all true at the same time?

For illustrative purposes, let X be the set of all instances where Bob has tortured and eaten babies alive for fun. (Also assume that X is non-empty, to avoid trivial responses.) Suppose that ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,037
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
  • 3,093
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

If materialism is true, then what accounts for pleasure and pain?

[I went and wrote a long answer to a question that was in the interim deleted, so rather than waste that, I thought I'd do my best to reproduce it here. Credit to Micheal Lee for the original, some ...
selfConceivedAsEvil's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
293 views

Not Turing reducible = non-physical?

According to the following question, it is likely the physical universe can be simulated on a Turing machine. Is the universe isomorphic to a universal turing machine? If so, does this imply ...
yters's user avatar
  • 1,937
3 votes
5 answers
609 views

Would rebuilding a human body rebuild the person it was?

I have zero background in philosophy, so forgive me for...asking this in an informal manner. We have a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that our consciousness at some time were reducible to ...
astiara's user avatar
  • 139
2 votes
3 answers
389 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 ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 721
1 vote
4 answers
118 views

Under physicalism, can my consciousness reappear in a different body?

For the sake of argument, let's assume some form of physicalism is true. If physicalism holds, how fundamental can consciousness be? Would it make sense to talk about individual discretized ...
Mark's user avatar
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