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

  title={Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa},
  author={Justin T. Tiehen},
  journal={Philosophy and Phenomenological Research},
  • 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… 
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