Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):141-164 (2016)

Authors
Alyssa Ney
University of California, Davis
Abstract
Physicalism is sometimes portrayed by its critics as a dogma, but there is an empirical argument for the position, one based on the accumulation of diverse microphysical causal explanations in physics, chemistry, and physiology. The canonical statement of this argument was presented in 2001 by David Papineau. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate a tension that arises between this way of understanding the empirical case for physicalism and a view that is becoming practically a received position in philosophy of physics: that microphysics does not support the existence of causal facts (and so does not support causal explanations). Indeed this is a conclusion embraced in recent work by Papineau himself. This paper examines a range of natural ways of avoiding this tension and reconciling the empirical case for physicalism with the rejection of microphysical causation.
Keywords physicalism  causal closure of the physical  causal completeness
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DOI 10.1111/phib.12082
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.

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Citations of this work BETA

Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
The Kalām Cosmological Argument Meets the Mentaculus.Dan Linford - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axaa005.

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