Powerful qualities, the conceivability argument and the nature of the physical

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Powerful qualities, the conceivability argument and the nature of the physical. / Taylor, John.

In: Philosophical Studies, Vol. 174, No. 8, 08.2017, p. 1895-1910.

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@article{59b67fc8c9ac42f6a8c73e652680a6cb,
title = "Powerful qualities, the conceivability argument and the nature of the physical",
abstract = "David Chalmers{\textquoteright} {\textquoteleft}conceivability{\textquoteright} argument against physicalism is perhaps the most widely discussed and controversial argument in contemporary philosophy of mind. Recently, several thinkers have suggested a novel response to this argument, which employs the {\textquoteleft}powerful qualities{\textquoteright} ontology of properties. In this paper, I argue that this response fails because it presupposes an implausible account of the physical/phenomenal distinction. In the course of establishing this, I discuss the so-called {\textquoteleft}ultimate{\textquoteright} argument for the claim that dispositional properties form the subject matter of physics. I argue that the ultimate argument can be interpreted in a strong or a weak way, and that the strong interpretation is implausible. I argue that this undermines the powerful qualities based response to the conceivability argument. I also argue for a general conclusion: that we should not define 'the physical' exclusively in terms of a distinction drawn from ontology.",
keywords = "Chalmers, Powerful qualities, Physical , Dispositional properties, Conceivability argument, Ultimate argument",
author = "John Taylor",
year = "2017",
month = aug,
doi = "10.1007/s11098-016-0774-4",
language = "English",
volume = "174",
pages = "1895--1910",
journal = "Philosophical Studies",
issn = "0031-8116",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "8",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Powerful qualities, the conceivability argument and the nature of the physical

AU - Taylor, John

PY - 2017/8

Y1 - 2017/8

N2 - David Chalmers’ ‘conceivability’ argument against physicalism is perhaps the most widely discussed and controversial argument in contemporary philosophy of mind. Recently, several thinkers have suggested a novel response to this argument, which employs the ‘powerful qualities’ ontology of properties. In this paper, I argue that this response fails because it presupposes an implausible account of the physical/phenomenal distinction. In the course of establishing this, I discuss the so-called ‘ultimate’ argument for the claim that dispositional properties form the subject matter of physics. I argue that the ultimate argument can be interpreted in a strong or a weak way, and that the strong interpretation is implausible. I argue that this undermines the powerful qualities based response to the conceivability argument. I also argue for a general conclusion: that we should not define 'the physical' exclusively in terms of a distinction drawn from ontology.

AB - David Chalmers’ ‘conceivability’ argument against physicalism is perhaps the most widely discussed and controversial argument in contemporary philosophy of mind. Recently, several thinkers have suggested a novel response to this argument, which employs the ‘powerful qualities’ ontology of properties. In this paper, I argue that this response fails because it presupposes an implausible account of the physical/phenomenal distinction. In the course of establishing this, I discuss the so-called ‘ultimate’ argument for the claim that dispositional properties form the subject matter of physics. I argue that the ultimate argument can be interpreted in a strong or a weak way, and that the strong interpretation is implausible. I argue that this undermines the powerful qualities based response to the conceivability argument. I also argue for a general conclusion: that we should not define 'the physical' exclusively in terms of a distinction drawn from ontology.

KW - Chalmers

KW - Powerful qualities

KW - Physical

KW - Dispositional properties

KW - Conceivability argument

KW - Ultimate argument

U2 - 10.1007/s11098-016-0774-4

DO - 10.1007/s11098-016-0774-4

M3 - Article

VL - 174

SP - 1895

EP - 1910

JO - Philosophical Studies

JF - Philosophical Studies

SN - 0031-8116

IS - 8

ER -