Fundamentality physicalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay has three goals. The first is to introduce the notion of fundamentality and to argue that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The second is to argue (i) for the advantages of fundamentality physicalism over modal formulations and (ii) that fundamentality physicalism is what many who endorse modal formulations of physicalism had in mind all along. Third, I describe what I take to be the main obstacle for a fundamentality-oriented formulation of physicalism: ‘the problem of abstracta’, which asks how physical can accommodate phenomena such as mathematics and universals, and which modal formulations do not face. I canvas three solutions: the inapt for ground solution, the concrete restriction, and the contingency restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-116
Number of pages40
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Physicalism
  • formulating physicalism
  • fundamentality
  • grounding
  • the problem of abstracta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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