Physicalism, realization, and structure

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In the philosophy of mind and psychology, a central question since the 1960s has been that of how to give a philosophically adequate formulation of mind-body physicalism. A large quantity of work on the topic has been done in the interim. There have been, and continue to be, extensive discussions of the ideas of physicalism, identity, functionalism, realization, and constitution. My aim in this paper is a modest one: it is to get clearer about these ideas and some of their interrelations. After providing some background and history, I shall focus on two related topics: the distinction between a functional property and a structural one and the dispute over whether a realization account of the mental-physical relation provides a better physicalist account than a constitutional account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Constitution
  • Functional property
  • Functionalism
  • Identity
  • Physicalism
  • Realization
  • Structural property
  • Supervenience


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