Thread: Define Physical
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Les Sleeth
#5
Jan5-05, 09:08 PM
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Ok, then I would define physicalism as the position that every observable process is completely determined by physical laws, as described above. To put this another way, if two systems are identical in every physical way, they cannot be different in any other way. By "physical way" I mean whatever parameters go into the final mathematical theory (eg, matter, space, qualia). As for unobservable processes, I would say that physicalists deny such a thing could exist.
I'm sorry if I've confused the issue. I didn't ask for a definition of physicalism. I am asking what "physical" means. What are the properties of physicalness? How can you tell if you are looking at something physical (without any reference to laws or calculation)? What qualities, if observed, would make an objective thinker say, " that is physical"? What qualities, if observed, would make an objective thinker say, "that's not physical"? You can't cite obeying "laws" because those are determined after the fact of consistantly observing the same qualities. I am asking for what can be observed in the raw, one time, that makes something physical.