Physicalism, the thesis that everything is physical, is one of the most controversial problems in philosophy. Its adherents argue that there is no more important doctrine in philosophy, whilst its opponents claim that its role is greatly exaggerated. In this superb introduction to the problem Daniel Stoljar focuses on three fundamental questions: the interpretation, truth and philosophical significance of physicalism. In answering these questions he covers the following key topics:
- a brief history of physicalism and its definitions
- what a physical property is and how physicalism meets challenges from empirical sciences
- 'Hempel's dilemma' and the relationship between physicalism and physics
- physicalism and key debates in metaphysics and philosophy of mind, such as supervenience, identity and conceivability
- physicalism and causality.
Additional features include chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary of technical terms, making Physicalism ideal for those coming to the problem for the first time.