Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1:50 am
by Teuton
lpetrich wrote:Is there a real difference?
It seems that the two agree on an important feature: that reality is fundamentally impersonal and nonmental.

Actually, that's the point where a conceptual distinction can be drawn between materialism/physicalism and (metaphysical) naturalism. It is clear that materialism/physicalism is naturalistic, but there are nonmaterialistic/nonphysicalistic sorts of (metaphysical) naturalism, namely naturalistic property dualism (à la David Chalmers) [NPD] and naturalistic panpsychism [NPP]. Both share two central materialistic assumptions:

1. that substance dualism and spiritualistic substance monism/substance spiritualism are false, i.e., that there are no spiritual/mental substances (immaterial/nonphysical/incorporeal/disembodied minds/souls/spirits/ghosts).
2. that, as David Armstrong puts it, "reality, the whole of being, is constituted by the spacetime world."
(Note that 2 implies the view that there are no nonspatiotemporal abstract objects. So metaphysical naturalism entails antiplatonism.)

NPD and NPP are different from full-blown materialism because the beliefs that there are hyperphysical, physically irreducible mental properties ("qualia"), and that all physical objects, including all fundamental ones, have mental properties are arguably incompatible with (full-blown) materialism.