Are there thought experiments about physicalism?

What is the problem with physicalism?

The Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism. The knowledge argument is one of the main challenges to physicalism, the doctrine that the world is entirely physical. The argument begins with the claim that there are truths about consciousness that cannot be deduced from the complete physical truth.

What is an example of a thought experiment?

Examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger’s cat, illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a tiny bit of radioactive substance, and Maxwell’s demon, which attempts to demonstrate the ability of a hypothetical finite being to violate the 2nd law of …

What is the mind according to physicalism?

Summary. Physicalism about the mind is the metaphysical view that all mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena, or necessitated by physical phenomena. There are various mental-physical relations proposed by physicalists to account for their claim.

Why is physicalism true?

Physicalism is true at a possible world w iff for every particular (object, event or process) x that exists at w, there is some physical particular y such that x = y. But (3) offers neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for physicalism.

Are most philosophers physicalist?

According to a 2009 survey, physicalism is the majority view among philosophers, but there remains significant opposition to physicalism.

Is physicalism a form of dualism?

Physicalism is a form of ontological monism—a “one substance” view of the nature of reality as opposed to a “two-substance” (dualism) or “many-substance” (pluralism) view. Both the definition of “physical” and the meaning of physicalism have been debated. Physicalism is closely related to materialism.

What branch of philosophy is physicalism?

Physicalism (also known as Materialistic Monism – see the sections on Materialism and Monism) is the philosophical position that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties, and that the only existing substance is physical.

Is the mind physical or nonphysical?

According to the dualist, the mind (or the soul) is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance known as matter. According to most substance dualists, mind and body are capable of causally affecting each other.

Is materialism the same as physicalism?

materialism, also called physicalism, in philosophy, the view that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.

Was Aristotle a physicalist?

In addition, regardless of his view on the soul’s immortality, I conclude that Aristotle’s position constitutes a satisfactory non-physicalist explanation of the mind, where the soul is a form which is non-material and natural.

What is the difference between idealism and physicalism?

is that physicalism is (philosophy) a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things while idealism is the property of a person of having high ideals that are usually unrealizable or at …

What is the difference between physicalism and dualism?

The Physicalism view claim that an entire human being comprises of a physical entity with various physical properties. On the other hand, the dualism view claims that human beings have a dual entity comprising a physical entity (the body) and a non-physical entity (the mind).

What are Qualia and what is the Qualia problem?

There are many definitions of qualia, which have changed over time. One of the simpler, broader definitions is: “The ‘what it is like’ character of mental states. The way it feels to have mental states such as pain, seeing red, smelling a rose, etc.” C.S.

What is dualism Descartes?

Substance dualism, or Cartesian dualism, most famously defended by René Descartes, argues that there are two kinds of foundation: mental and physical. This philosophy states that the mental can exist outside of the body, and the body cannot think.

What is Epiphenomenalism dualism?

Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in the brain, but have no effects upon any physical events.

What is the theory of Occasionalism?

occasionalism, version of Cartesian metaphysics that flourished in the last half of the 17th century, in which all interaction between mind and body is mediated by God. It is posited that unextended mind and extended body do not interact directly.

What is an epiphenomenon?

Definition of epiphenomenon



: a secondary phenomenon accompanying another and caused by it specifically : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself.

What is a qualia freak?

Jackson describes himself as a ‘qualia freak. ‘ By this he just means that he believes that qualia exist. But what are qualia? Roughly, qualia are properties of having a certain conscious state — like feeling a pain or an itch, or having a reddish visual sensation — which are not identical to any physical property.

Is consciousness an epiphenomenon?

However, for others, consciousness is an epiphenomenon, that is, something without a direct function, like the redness of blood – a characteristic which was not selected for, but was a consequence of the mechanism selected to deliver oxygen.

Who came up with identity theory?

Social identity theory developed from a series of studies, frequently called minimal-group studies, conducted by the British social psychologist Henri Tajfel and his colleagues in the early 1970s.

What is Jackson’s example of Mary the scientist?

Frank Jackson (1982) formulates the intuition underlying his Knowledge Argument in a much cited passage using his famous example of the neurophysiologist Mary: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor.

What is Jackson’s argument against physicalism?

Refutation of physicalism



Jackson argues that if Mary does learn something new upon experiencing color, then physicalism is false. Specifically, the knowledge argument is an attack on the physicalist claim about the completeness of physical explanations of mental states.

What is the point of Jackson’s thought experiment about the color challenged scientist?


There they create patterns of neural activity that corresponds to the millions of colors most humans can distinguish. Now imagine that one day Mary's black and white screen malfunctions. And an apple