How should thought and consciousness be understood within a view of the world as being through-and-through physical? Many philosophers have proposed non-reductive, levels-based positions, according to which the physical domain is fundamental, while thought and consciousness are higher-level processes, dependent on and determined by physical processes. In this book, Kevin Morris's careful philosophical and historical critique shows that it is very difficult to make good metaphysical sense of this idea - notions like supervenience, physical realization, and grounding all fail to articulate a viable non-reductive, levels-based physicalism. Challenging assumptions about the mind-body problem and providing new perspectives on the debate over physicalism, this accessible and comprehensive book will interest scholars working in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.
Kevin Morris is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University, Louisiana. His work on the metaphysics of physicalism and the mind-body problem has appeared in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Erkenntnis, Philosophical Studies, and elsewhere.
Introduction; 1. Supervenience and non-reductive physicalism; 2. Non-reductive physicalism and the exclusion problem; 3. Functional realization; 4. Subset realization; 5. Grounding and physicalism; 6. The rise of non-reductive physicalism; 7. The physicalist problematic reconsidered; Conclusion.