Posted: Apr 16, 2013 2:00 am
by Teuton
DrWho wrote:...Physicalism is also called "materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved with the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physiccality than matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forces produced by particles."

I don't think that "physicalism" is preferrable to "materialism".

"I say 'materialistic' where some would rather say 'physicalistic': an adequate theory must be consistent with the truth and completeness of some theory in much the style of present-day physics. ('Completeness' is to be explained in terms of supervenience.)
Some fear that 'materialism' conveys a commitment that this ultimate physics must be a physics of matter alone: no fields, no radiation, no causally active spacetime. Not so! Let us proclaim our solidarity with forebears who, like us, wanted their philosophy to agree with ultimate physics. Let us not chide and disown them for their less advanced ideas about what ultimate physics might say."

(Lewis, David. "Naming the Colours." In Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology, 332-358. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. p. 332, fn. 2)

"[Materialism] was so named when the best physics of the day was the physics of matter alone. Now our best physics acknowledges other bearers of fundamental properties: parts of pervasive fields, parts of causally active spacetime. But it would be pedantry to change the name on that account, and disown our intellectual ancestors. Or worse, it would be a tacky marketing ploy, akin to British Rail's decree that second class passengers shall now be called 'standard class customers'."

(Lewis, David. "Reduction of Mind." In A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, edited by Samuel D. Guttenplan, 412-431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. p. 413)