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  1. A Properly Physical Russellian Physicalism.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):31-50.
    Russellian physicalism has the promise of answering all the typical challenges that non-physicalists have issued against standard versions of physicalism, while not giving up physicalism's commitment to the non-existence of fundamental mentality. However, it has been argued that Russellian physicalism must endorse the existence of physically unacceptable protomental properties in order to address these challenges, which would mean giving up on a core physicalist tenet of keeping the fundamental realm untainted by a special relationship to mentality. Against this, I argue (...)
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    Making Room for a This-Worldly Physicalism.Barbara Gail Montero & Christopher Devlin Brown - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):523-532.
    Physicalism is thought to entail that mental properties supervene on microphysical properties, or in other words that all God had to do was to create the fundamental physical properties and the rest came along for free. In this paper, we question the all-god-had-to-do reflex.
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  3. Minds Within Minds: An Infinite Descent of Mentality in a Physical World.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1339-1350.
    Physicalism is frequently understood as the thesis that everything depends upon a fundamental physical level. This standard formulation of physicalism has a rarely noted and arguably unacceptable consequence—it makes physicalism come out false in worlds which have no fundamental level, for instance worlds containing things which can infinitely decompose into smaller and smaller parts. If physicalism is false, it should not be for this reason. Thus far, there is only one proposed solution to this problem, and it comes from the (...)
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  4. Consciousness and Categorical Properties.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):365-387.
    Russellian physicalism is a view on the nature of consciousness which promises to satisfy the demands of both traditional physicalists and non-physicalists. It does so by identifying subjective experience with physically acceptable categorical properties underlying structural and dispositional properties described by science. Though promising, the view faces at least two serious challenges: (i) it has been argued that science deals in both categorical and non-categorical properties, which would undercut the motivation behind Russellian physicalism, and (ii) it has been argued that (...)
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    Answering the Difference-Maker Problem for Russellian Physicalism.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (3):1111-1127.
    Russellian physicalism is a promising answer to the mind–body problem which attempts to satisfy the motivating epistemic and metaphysical concerns of non-physicalists with regards to consciousness, while also maintaining a physicalist commitment to the non-existence of fundamental mentality. Chan (_Philosophical Studies, 178_:2043–62, 2021) has recently described a challenge to Russellian physicalism he deems the ‘difference-maker problem’, which is a Russellian-physicalism-specific version of the more well-known ‘combination problem’ for Russellian monism generally. The problem is to determine how a relatively small set (...)
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  6. Fundamental mentality in a physical world.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2841-2860.
    Regardless of whatever else physicalism requires, nearly all philosophers agree that physicalism cannot be true in a world which contains fundamental mentality. I challenge this widely held attitude, and describe a world which is plausibly all-physical, yet which may contain fundamental mentality. This is a world in which priority monism is true—which is the view that the whole of the cosmos is fundamental, with dependence relations directed from the whole to the parts—and which contains only a single mental system, like (...)
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  7. Why illusionism about consciousness is unbelievable.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2021 - Ratio 35 (1):16-24.
    Ratio, Volume 35, Issue 1, Page 16-24, March 2022.
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    Russellian Physicalism, Phenomenal Concepts, and Revelation.Christopher Devlin Brown - forthcoming - Philosophia.
    This paper responds to an argument from Botin which claims that Russellian physicalism is committed to the view that either (i) our phenomenal concepts do not reveal anything essential about phenomenal properties (following Goff, Botin calls this the ‘opaque’ account of phenomenal concepts), or that (ii) phenomenal concepts are capable of revealing at least some of the essence of phenomenal properties—making phenomenal concepts ‘translucent’ if some-but-not-all-revealing or ‘transparent’ if all-revealing—but this entails that phenomenal properties are fundamental, which violates physicalism. I (...)
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    A Problem for Extensional Articulations of Physicalism.Christopher Devlin Brown - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-8.
    Extensional articulations of physicalism define what it means to be physical relative to the properties of a set of entities, such that physicalism is true if the fundamental properties which compose the entities in this set are the same sorts of fundamental properties which compose everything that exists. Here I present a novel problem for these articulations of physicalism: they are consistent with phenomenal idealism, which is the view that only phenomenal properties exist. Under this view, paradigm physical objects such (...)
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    Quantum computation and the untenability of a “No fundamental mentality” constraint on physicalism.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2022 - Synthese 201 (1):1-18.
    Though there is yet no consensus on the right way to understand ‘physicalism’, most philosophers agree that, regardless of whatever else is required, physicalism cannot be true if there exists fundamental mentality. I will follow Jessica Wilson (Philosophical Studies 131:61–99, 2006) in calling this the 'No Fundamental Mentality' (NFM) constraint on physicalism. Unfortunately for those who wish to constrain physicalism in this way, NFM admits of a counterexample: an artificially intelligent quantum computer which employs quantum properties as part of its (...)
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    The hope and horror of physicalism: an existential treatise.Christopher Devlin Brown - 2024 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This book assesses the existentially relevant consequences of physicalism. It argues that accepting physicalism is the healthiest stance we can take in the face of an account of the self and world which offers no metaphysical assurances. Why should we care about physicalism? On one hand, the view seems to be inconsistent with things that many people find valuable, such as the existence of free will, God, the immortal soul, ultimate purpose, and natural laws like karma. On the other hand, (...)
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