- The view that the real world is nothing more than the physical world. The doctrine may, but need not, include the view that everything that can truly be said can be said in the language of physics. Physicalism is opposed to ontologies including abstract objects, such as possibilities, universals, or numbers, and to mental events and states, in so far as any of these are thought of as independent of physical things, events, and states. Whilst the doctrine is widely adopted, the precise way of dealing with such difficult customers is not agreed. Nor is it entirely clear how capacious a physical ontology can allow itself to be, for while physics does not talk in terms of many everyday objects and events, such as chairs, tables, money, or colours, it ought to be consistent with a physicalist ideology to allow that such things exist. Some philosophers believe that the vagueness of what counts as physical, and the vagueness of what counts as incorporating such things into a physical ontology, make the doctrine vacuous. Others believe that it forms a substantive metaphysical position. One common way of framing the doctrine is in terms of supervenience . Whilst it is allowed that there are legitimate descriptions of things that do not talk of them in physical terms, it is claimed that any such truths about them supervene upon the basic physical facts. However, supervenience has its own problems.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.
Look at other dictionaries:
Physicalism — is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things. The term was coined by Otto Neurath in a series of early… … Wikipedia
physicalism — [fiz′i kəl iz΄əm] n. the theory that all referential terms in scientific or meaningful statements are reducible to terms connected with physical objects or events, or with their properties physicalist n … English World dictionary
Physicalism — the metaphysical position asserting that everything which exists has a physical property; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things. In contemporary philosophy physicalism is most frequently associated with philosophy… … Mini philosophy glossary
physicalism — noun Date: 1931 a thesis that the descriptive terms of scientific language are reducible to terms which refer to spatiotemporal things or events or to their properties • physicalist noun or adjective • physicalistic adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
physicalism — physicalist, n., adj. /fiz i keuh liz euhm/, n. a doctrine associated with logical positivism and holding that every meaningful statement, other than the necessary statements of logic and mathematics, must refer directly or indirectly to… … Universalium
physicalism — noun A philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things … Wiktionary
physicalism — belief that all phenomena reducible to verifiable assertions Philosophical Isms … Phrontistery dictionary
physicalism — n. (Philosophy) form of materialism, philosophical doctrine or belief that matter and physical properties are the only reality … English contemporary dictionary
physicalism — noun Philosophy the doctrine that the real world consists simply of the physical world. Derivatives physicalist noun & adjective physicalistic adjective … English new terms dictionary
physicalism — phys·i·cal·ism … English syllables