Physicalism, the view that mental states are nothing over and above physical states, is nowadays prevailing in the philosophy of mind. Among the arguments that have been put forward in its favour, the one from naturalism seems to play an important role in the litera-ture. Generally speaking, the argument is made up of two premises: (i) it is rational to be committed to naturalism; (ii) if one is committed to naturalism, then one is committed to physicalism about the mind. The conclusion is that it is rational to be committed to physi-calism about the mind. The aim of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of such a line of reasoning. In order to do this, I will examine different versions of the argument. First of all, I will take into account the line of reasoning stemming from the rationality of meth-odological naturalism. After that, I will consider a stronger version of the argument that focuses on the metaphysics that is suggested by cognitive science. Finally, I will assess the effectiveness of a naturalistic argument hinging on the claim that physicalism is indis-pensable for the interpretation of the empirical results provided by cognitive science. My conclusion will be that all these versions of the argument fail to provide convincing rea-sons for believing its conclusion.

Sul perché l'argomento naturalista non può fornire ragioni a sostegno del fisicalismo

Giacomo Zanotti
2020

Abstract

Physicalism, the view that mental states are nothing over and above physical states, is nowadays prevailing in the philosophy of mind. Among the arguments that have been put forward in its favour, the one from naturalism seems to play an important role in the litera-ture. Generally speaking, the argument is made up of two premises: (i) it is rational to be committed to naturalism; (ii) if one is committed to naturalism, then one is committed to physicalism about the mind. The conclusion is that it is rational to be committed to physi-calism about the mind. The aim of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of such a line of reasoning. In order to do this, I will examine different versions of the argument. First of all, I will take into account the line of reasoning stemming from the rationality of meth-odological naturalism. After that, I will consider a stronger version of the argument that focuses on the metaphysics that is suggested by cognitive science. Finally, I will assess the effectiveness of a naturalistic argument hinging on the claim that physicalism is indis-pensable for the interpretation of the empirical results provided by cognitive science. My conclusion will be that all these versions of the argument fail to provide convincing rea-sons for believing its conclusion.
physicalism, naturalism, methodological naturalism, metaphysical naturalism, arguments for physicalism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/8475
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