Philosophy Index

Physicalism

Physicalism is a position in philosophy of mind which argues that mental processes are, are the result of, or can be reduced to, physical processes in the brain. There are various forms of physicalism, but the position is generally a monist one, which holds that there is only one substance with a place in ontology: the physical.

Some physicalist positions are:

  • Behaviourism, which holds that talk about mental states can be reduced to talk about behaviours.
  • Functionalism, which states that mental states are caused by behaviours, senses and other mental states.
  • Type physicalism, which argues that mental states are equivalent to brain states.

See: mind-body problem