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From: Andreas Elpidorou <email@example.com>
Subject: CFP: Topoi: The Character of Physicalism
CALL FOR PAPERS
“The Character of Physicalism”
Special Issue of Topoi
Department of Philosophy
University of Louisville
Not many issues in philosophy can be said to match, let alone to rival, physicalism’s importance, persistent influence, and divisiveness. Physicalism is typically understood to be an a posteriori, contingent, metaphysical thesis about the nature of our world. The acceptance of physicalism commits one to the acceptance of a monistic worldview. Despite how different or variegated existing entities or properties might appear to be, everything that exists in our world, according to physicalism, is physical. Physicalism also settles our place in nature. Qua physical beings, we are of the same kind as everything else. Whatever we might consider to be unique about us, is, or reduces to the,physical. The monistic and perhaps austere picture that physicalism offers does not meet universal acceptance. Given the scope and importance of physicalism, that much is to be expected.
Yet the debate surrounding the veracity of physicaism is not the only debate that concerns physicalism. A related and equally important debate concerns the nature and character of physicalism. Precisely what is the thesis of physicalism? How should it be defined? What are its commitments? What needs to be true in order for physicalism to be true? All of the aforementioned questions are questions that need to be answered. Perhaps they need to be answered even before one can ask whether physicalism is true. Yet no consensus has been reached on any of these questions. The question ‘What is physicalism?’ is in need of an answer just as much as the question ‘Is physicalism true?’
The aim of this special issue is to provide a forum in which a number of original essays can come together in order to contribute to our understanding of the nature and character of physicalism.
Three questions will be of particular importance to the special issue. First, physicalism holds that all that exists in our world is physical. But what exactly does ‘physical’ mean? How can one provide a definition of the term ‘physical’ that captures the spirit of physicalism? Second, physicalism is more than just a thesis about what type of properties or entities actually exist. Physicalism is also committed to the view that one set of properties (i.e., physical properties) determines all others. Thus, in order to explicate the nature of physicalism, one needs to specify the nature of this determination. Finally, what sort of commitments does physicalism have? For instance, does physicalism entail the truth of microphysicalism? Does physicalism entail that all truths can be a priori deduced from physical truths? Making explicit the commitments of physicalism matters, for only by making such commitments explicit can one clearly understand physicalism’s scope and strength.
Other suggested topics for the special issue include, but are not limited to the following:
· An examination of realization physicalism and its commitments
· The relationship between supervenience and explanation
· The via negativa approach to physicalism
· The merits and demerits of theory definitions of ‘physical’
· Other less traditional approaches in defining ‘physical’
· The relationship between microphysicalism and physicalism
· The role of Hume’s dictum in physicalism
· Grounding and physicalism
· The relationship between physicalism and scientific findings or practices
Please note: The special issue is not interested in publishing articles that examine arguments for or against physicalism. The focus of the special issue is not on whether physicalism is true but rather on how to properly explicate the thesis and commitments of physicalism.
Word limit: 7000 words
Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2015
Confirmed Invited Contributors
Andrew Melnyk (University of Missouri); Barbara Montero (Graduate Center, CUNY); Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto); Gene Witmer (University of Florida)
Peer review: all submissions will be subject to a double anonymous peer-review process. Please prepare your submission for anonymous reviewing.
Submissions should be made directly to the journal’s online submission website
(http://www.editorialmanager.com/topo) indicating special issue “The Character of Physicalism.”
For further details, please check the website of Topoi. An International Review of Philosophy: http://www.springer.com/philosophy/journal/11245
For any further questions regarding the special issue please contact Andreas Elpidorou at firstname.lastname@example.org