Physicalism, the thesis that everything is physical, is one of the most controversial problems in philosophy. Its adherents argue that there is no more important doctrine in philosophy, whilst its opponents claim that its role is greatly exaggerated. In this superb introduction to the problem Daniel Stoljar focuses on three fundamental questions: the interpretation, truth and philosophical significance of physicalism. In answering these questions he covers the following key topics:
a brief history of physicalism and its definitions
what a physical property is and how physicalism meets challenges from empirical sciences
`Hempel's dilemma' and the relationship between physicalism and physics
physicalism and key debates in metaphysics and philosophy of mind, such as supervenience, identity and conceivability
physicalism and causality.
Additional features include chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary of technical terms, making Physicalism ideal for those coming to the problem for the first time.
Introduction 1. The Standard Picture 2. Form and Alternatives 3. The Starting Point View 4. The Theory View 5. Hempel's Dilemma 6. The Necessity View 7. Is Necessitation Necessary? 8. Is Necessitation Sufficient? 9. Skeptics and True Believers 10. Arguments Against Physicalism 11. Arguments for Physicalism Conclusion. Glossary. Notes. Bibliography. Index