I want to start by saying that I haven’t exhaustively surveyed the literature on physicalism, so the following argument probably isn’t new (relevant links to the literature would be appreciated). Physicalism is the philosophical view that everything is physical. The problem with physicalism is that it seems that the process of thinking and reasoning disproves it. When the content of one idea elicits another idea, when we move from one step to another in a valid argument, it seems that it is the thinking and reasoning that causes the neural processing, not the other way around. How could the neural processing cause the logical sequence of elicited ideas? I accept that the content of one idea can be correlated with a neural process, but what I deny is that a train of thought where the content of one idea or logical step leads to another idea or logical step can be caused by a neural process. Neural processes cannot make logical inferences based on previously elicited mental content. It’s the content of the ideas that is eliciting further ideas, as when one has a train of thought. This process causes the neural processing, not the other way around.
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