Another update from an old post, because getting clear on the concept of physicalism is important to some previous discussion.
Physicalism, as understood in my book (and the definition is laid out clearly) is committed to three fundamental doctrines. 1) Physics is mechanistic at the most basic level of analysis. Whetever is happening to the basic stuff of the universe is fully determined by the laws of physics, the initial conditions, and perhaps a quantum chance factor. 2) Physics is closed. No physical event has a nonphysical cause. 3) Whatever exists in space and time that is not physical supervenes on the physical. Given the state of the physical, whatever states that are not physical must be the way they are and not some other way. So, for example, we can describe the braking system of a car in physical terms that does not mention the capability of stopping a car, but given the state of the physical, the braking capacities of the system are guaranteed to be there. Nothing in this definition requires reductionism, and this definition should encompass all forms of materialism, whether they are eliminative, reductive, or non-reductive. Is this definition of physicalism in any way a straw man?