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The Requirements for Formulating Physicalism

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DOI: 10.25236/ssehr.2023.028


Pengcheng Jiao

Corresponding Author

Pengcheng Jiao


Physicalism is the mainstream position of philosophy of mind, which usually maintains that everything that exists is nothing over and above the physical, but that how to formulate physicalism is a controversial problem. The controversial nature of this problem is due, at least in part, to the failure of the current literature to adequately consider the requirements for formulating physicalism. This paper will argue that a good formulation of physicalism should separately and comprehensively explain the three elements of the physicalist slogan: everything that exists, nothing-over-and-above-ness, and the physical. In particular, a formulation for physicalism, based on an interpretation of any of the three elements, should not simply exclude versions of physicalism based on different understandings of the other elements.


formulating physicalism; everything that exists; nothing-over-and-above-ness; ontological dependence; fundamentality; the physical