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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Idealism, or Something Near Enough

Idealism, or Something Near Enough

(p.275) 17 Idealism, or Something Near Enough

Susan Schneider

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops a critique of physicalism based on the mathematical nature of physics. Drawing from an earlier paper of the author’s, it urges that physicalists need to locate a physicalistically kosher account of the nature of mathematical entities, because fundamental theories in physics are highly mathematical and abstract. At first it may seem that there are many theories in philosophy of mathematics that the physicalist could turn to. But it is argued that the physicalist cannot appeal to Platonism. Further, many of the leading nominalist approaches are mind-dependent; others raise direction of explanation worries for the physicalist for other reasons. After discarding physicalism, the chapter employs an account of mathematical entities that embraces the mind-dependence of fundamental physical entities, and leads to a form of non-physicalist monism. ‘protomentalism.’

Keywords:   idealism, physicalism, dualism, panprotopsychism, physics, philosophy of mathematics, Platonism, nominalism

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