Physicalism
Field (Hartry)
Source: Earman (John), Ed. - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Hartry Field is more sanguine about another2 major "ism" — physicalism. He tries to chart a course between the Scylla of formulating the doctrine in such a strong form as to make it wholly implausible and the Charybdis of making it so weak as to have no methodological bite.
  2. The form of physicalism that Field takes to be worthy of respect is along the lines of reductionism, asserting (very roughly) that all good explanation must be reducible to physical explanation. He argues that weaker versions of physicalism, such as supervenience3, that lack the explanatory requirement founder on the Charybdis. What remains to be specified to make physicalism a definite thesis is the reduction base: what are the considerations in virtue of which a science or a theory is properly classified as being part of physics?

Comment:

Part II - Thories and Explanations



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Earman (John) - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations: Introduction".

Footnote 2: The other was Functionalism, in "Putnam (Hilary) - Why Functionalism Didn't Work".


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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