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The Waning of Materialism$
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Robert C. Koons and George Bealer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556182.001.0001

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Kripke's Argument Against Materialism

Kripke's Argument Against Materialism

(p.115) 5 Kripke's Argument Against Materialism
The Waning of Materialism

Eli Hirsch

Oxford University Press

This chapter defends Saul Kripke's argument. The basic principle underlying the argument is that if a sentence contains only terms that pick out their referents essentially then, if the sentence expresses a necessary truth, it is impossible for people in our epistemic situation to be mistaken in asserting the sentence. It seems clear that people in our epistemic situation might be mistaken in asserting the sentences that materialists assert as necessary truths. The option available to materialists is to claim that physicalist terms do not pick out their referents essentially. But that leads to an implausible view of physical reality akin to idealism.

Keywords:   Saul Krikpe, materialism, physicalist terms, epistemic situation, pain

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