Physical Realization

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9780199214396: Physical Realization

In Physical Realization, Sydney Shoemaker considers the question of how physicalism can be true: how can all facts about the world, including mental ones, be constituted by facts about the distribution in the world of physical properties? Physicalism requires that the mental properties of a person are "realized in" the physical properties of that person, and that all instantiations of properties in macroscopic objects are realized in microphysical states of affairs. Shoemaker offers an account of both these sorts of realization, one which allows the realized properties to be causally efficacious. He also explores the implications of this account for a wide range of metaphysical issues, including the nature of persistence through time, the problem of material constitution, the possibility of emergent properties, and the nature of phenomenal consciousness.

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About the Author:


Sydney Shoemaker is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University.

Review:


"This is an admirably ambitious book.... there is much in the book that I find attractive and of value...."--Brian P. McLaughlin, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"There is a wealth of philosophical exploration and argumentation in these chapters. Whether or not the reader agrees with Shoemaker's account of realization, one is forced by the later chapters to consider how one's own account fairs across such a broad range of issues. Such an exercise is of clear value to any philosopher interested in these topics and so I recommend this book to all such philosophers." -- Philosophical Quarterly


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