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PhysicalismThe Philosophical Foundations$
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Jeffrey Poland

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198249801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198249801.001.0001

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Review of Past Formulations

Review of Past Formulations

(p.45) 2 Review of Past Formulations

Jeffrey Poland

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the most prominent recent formulations of physicalist doctrine to determine how well they fare relative to the criteria of adequacy set out in Chapter 1. It argues that every such formulation fails in one or another crucial respect. In particular, most recent formulations fail to properly address physicalist concerns about emergence and explanation. The purpose of the chapter, however, is ultimately constructive. It aims to clarify further the various constraints and obstacles to which any adequate and acceptable formulation of physicalism must be responsive.

Keywords:   physicalism, physicalist doctrine, unified system of knowledge, reductionist approaches, no-reductionist approaches

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