Tag Archives: grounding

Must Physicalism Imply the Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical?

Barbara Gail Montero, “Must Physicalism Imply the Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical?”, Journal of Philosophy, 2013.

Here is a close to final draft of the paper:
Must Physicalism Imply the Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical?

Abstract. In the literature on physicalism, one finds a plethora of supervenience relations along with debates over their respective roles in formulating the thesis of physicalism. However, one finds little, if any, debate over whether a weak supervenience principle, of the sort proposed by Frank Jackson, David Chalmers, and David Lewis is necessary for physicalism. This article questions whether a supervenience principle, even of this weak sort, is necessary for physicalism.

Physicalism in an Infinitely Decomposable World

Montero (2006). Physicalism in an Infinitely Decomposable World, Erkentnis64 (2):177-191.

Draft of Physicalism in an Infinitely Decomposable World

Might the world be structured, as Leibniz thought, so that every part of matter is divided ad infinitum? The Physicist David Bohm accepted infinitely decomposable matter, and even Steven Weinberg, a staunch supporter of the idea that science is converging on a final theory, admits the possibility of an endless chain of ever more fundamental theories. However, if there is no fundamental level, physicalism, thought of as the view that everything is determined by fundamental phenomena and that all fundamental phenomena (…) are physical, turns out false, for in such a world, there are no fundamental phenomena, and so fundamental phenomena determine nothing. While some take physicalism necessarily to posit a fundamental level, here I present a thesis of physicalism that allows for its truth even in an infinitely decomposable world.