After Physicalism's Intro Essay

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After Physicalism Introduction

Benedikt Paul Göcke

Quote:...without the completeness of physics almost none of the arguments for physicalism is remotely plausible. Since the completeness of physics is either consistent with dualism or else question begging, almost none of the arguments for physicalism is remotely plausible. Because I am not aware of any recent argument for physicalism which is remotely plausible and independent of the causal closure of the physical realm, I take it that physicalism has in fact no argumentative support.

Although both reductive and nonreductive physicalism cannot hope to achieve their goal, and although there are no remotely plausible arguments for physicalism, there is a considerable number of philosophers who still pledge allegiance to physicalism and prefer to deny the existence of what they cannot account for. The trend is this: instead of arguing that because everything is physical we and our conscious life have to be physical, physicalists now argue the other way around: if something is not physical, then it simply cant exist! This thesis is, to put it very mildly, question begging.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell



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