Tag Archives: Chomsky

Book Review of Daniel Stojar’s Physicalism

My review can be found here:  http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/31706-physicalism/

Abstract. It is somewhat incongruous that Daniel Stoljar’s book Physicalism is part of Routledge’s New Problems of Philosophy series, for physicalism, as Stoljar’s quote from Fredrich Lange’s book on the topic makes clear, “is as old as philosophy, but not older.” Lange, no doubt, is correct that strands of the view, or cluster of views, we refer to today as “physicalism” are found in Democritus, Epicurus and even Thales; nonetheless, under Stoljar’s deft hand, the subject becomes new due to his focus on the distinctly contemporary concern of how to define or interpret physicalism. His interest in this issue, as he mentions in the acknowledgements, was sparked by Noam Chomsky, who, Stoljar says, “first asked me what on earth I thought physicalism was anyway” (xii). The book, as well as a good part of the rest of Stoljar’s insightful and abundant research, is a response to Chomsky’s query.