Physicalism and its Discontents

Physicalism and its Discontents

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Physicalism, a topic that has been central to modern philosophy of mind and metaphysics, is the philosophical view that everything in the space-time world is ultimately physical. The physicalist will claim that all facts about the mind and the mental are physical facts and deny the existence of mental events and state insofar as these are thought of as independent of physical things, events and states. This collection of essays, first published in 2001, offers a series of perspectives on this important doctrine and brings depth and breadth to the philosophical debate. A group of distinguished philosophers, comprising both physicalists and their critics, consider a wide range of issues including the historical genesis and present justification of physicalism, its metaphysical presuppositions and methodological role, its implications for mental causation, and the account it provides of consciousness.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 380 pages
  • 154 x 229 x 23mm | 572g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521042127
  • 9780521042123
  • 1,517,618

Table of contents

Contributors; Preface; Part I. Physicalism: 1. The rise of physicalism David Papineau; 2. From physics to physicalism Barry Loewer; 3. Sufficiency claims and physicalism: a formulation D. Gene Witmer; 4. Realization and mental causation Sydney Shoemaker; 5. Physicalism and psychology: a plea for a substantive philosophy of mind Georges Rey; 6. Davidson and non-reductive materialism: a tale of two cultures Howard Robinson; 7. Substance physicalism Noa Latham; 8. Possibility: physical and metaphysical Stephen Leeds; Part II. Physicalist Discontents: 9. The roots of reductionism Scott Sturgeon; 10. The significance of emergence Tim Crane; 11. The methodological role of physicalism: a minimal scepticism Carl Gillett; 12. Physicalism, empiricism and positivism Gary Gates; Part III. Physicalism and Consciousness: A Continuing Dialectic; Section 1. Arguments for Pessimism: 13. Mental causation and consciousness: the two mind-body problems for the physicalist Jaegwon Kim; 14. How not to solve the mind-body problem Colin McGinn; 15. Deconstructing new wave materialism Terence Horgan and John Tienson; Section 2. Optimistic Rejoinders: 16. In defense of new wave materialism: a response to Horgan and Tienson Brian P. McLaughlin; 17. Physicalism unfalsified: Chalmer's inconclusive conceivability argument Andrew Melnyk; References; Index.
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Review quote

"...a fine source of some cutting-edge work in a rapidly changing field." Philosophy in Review "...anyone looking for a state-of-the-art collection of essays discussing current issues in metaphysics of mind and its implications for consciousness and mental causation will find this collection useful, rich and provocative in places." Metapsychology Online Book Reviews
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