Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa

@article{Tiehen2016PhysicalismRF,
  title={Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa},
  author={Justin T. Tiehen},
  journal={Philosophy and Phenomenological Research},
  year={2016},
  volume={93},
  pages={3-24}
}
  • Justin T. Tiehen
  • Published 1 July 2016
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson… 
A Dilemma about the Mental
Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a
Fundamental mentality in a physical world
Regardless of whatever else physicalism requires, nearly all philosophers agree that physicalism cannot be true in a world which contains fundamental mentality. I challenge this widely held attitude,
A causal argument for dualism
Abstract Dualism holds (roughly) that some mental events are fundamental and non-physical. I develop a prima facie plausible causal argument for dualism. The argument has several significant
Causation in Physics and in Physicalism
It is widely thought that there is an important argument to be made that starts with premises taken from the science of physics and ends with the conclusion of physicalism. The standard view is that
Physicalism

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 42 REFERENCES
The Physical: Empirical, not Metaphysical
Intuitively, physicalism is the thesis that there’s nothing ‘over and above’ the physical. Going beyond this intuitive formulation requires an account of what it is for a property, kind, relation, or
A defence of the Via Negativa argument for physicalism
Given this premiss, and assuming the implausibility of systematic causal overdetermination, it follows that everything that has a physical effect must itself be physical. However, what does
Physicalism: The Philosophical Foundations
Part 1 The problem of formulation: preliminaries core ideas and values gratuitous associations criteria for assessing physicalism. Part 2 Review of past formulations: reductionist approaches
Two Conceptions of the Physical
The debate over physicalism in philosophy of mind can be seen as concerning an inconsistent tetrad of theses: (1) if physicalism is true, a priori physicalism is true; (2) a priori physicalism is
Physicalism and the Via Negativa
Some philosophers have suggested that, instead of attempting to arrive at a satisfactory definition of the physical, we should adopt the ‘via negativa.’ That is, we should take the notion of the
From Reduction to Type-Type Identity
In chapter four, "Reduction and Reductionism: A New Look", Jaegwon Kim offers an account of reduction distinct from the familiar Nagel model. (E. Nagel, The Structure of Science, New York: Harcourt
Supervenience-based Formulations of Physicalism*
Filling in the schema requires specifying what it is for an entity to be physical, and what it is for an entity to be ‘‘nothing over and above’’ some other entities. Some have worried that no account
How to be a (sort of) a priori physicalist
What has come to be known as “a priori physicalism” is the thesis, roughly, that the non-physical truths in the actual world can be deduced a priori from a complete physical description of the actual
Functionalism and type-type identity theories
ConclusionToken-token identity theorists do not and need not deny that it may frequently be the same (kind of) brain state which on different occasions fills the functional rôle definitive of a given
Determination, realization and mental causation
How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question
...
...