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Physicalism as a Research Programme

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien
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It is argued in this paper that physicalism is best understood as a research programme, rather than a thesis or an attitude, as some philosophers argue. Given that research programmes connect past, present and future philosophical or scientific activities, physicalists need not decide between current and future physical theories, as it has been required by Hempel’s Dilemma. The author contrasts this proposal with other solutions to Hempel’s Dilemma proposed by currentists, futurists, and those philosophers who claim that physicalism should best be understood as an attitude, arguing that understanding physicalism as a research programme avoids problems that are present in the alternative views, and that it matches well with the standard classifications in the history of philosophy.

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