The subject of interlevel relations concerns the connection between items described by the different sciences, from fundamental-level physics to high-level human sciences. Philosophers analyze these relations in terms of concepts like reduction, or emergence, or supervenience, or realization. The subject is essential to any broad picture of the sciences and the world.
|Key works||Most of the works in philosophy divide along the aforementioned views. For reduction, important ideas includes reduction as a derivation by bridge principles (Nagel 1961), approximate reduction (Schaffner 1967), an expanded continuum of strong to weak reduction that advertises no bridge laws (Churchland 1979; Hooker 1981; Bickle 1997), compositional or mechanistic reduction (Wimsatt 1976; Rosenberg 2006; Bechtel 2007), and functional reduction (Kim 2000). For emergence, there are views that involve epistemic, metaphysical, synchronic, and diachronic ideas (McLaughlin 1992; Wimsatt 1997; Humphreys 2008), as well as issues about actual cases in the sciences (Batterman 2002; Davies 2006). For supervenience, there are weak, strong, global, and mereological varieties (Kim 1993; Horgan 1993; McLaughlin 1995), as well as debates over their significance for issues of explanation and dependence (Grimes 1988; Bennett 2004) and their adequacy to express a doctrine of physicalism (Wilson 2005). For realization, the are accounts in terms of parts and wholes (Cummins 1983; Gillett 2002), functional roles and occupation (Papineau 1993; Melnyk 1994; Kim 2000), determinables and determinates (Macdonald & Macdonald 1986; Yablo 1992), and subsets of causal powers (Wilson 1999, 2011; Shoemaker 2001, 2007). There are also questions about the resulting broad picture of the sciences and how it is unified (Oppenheim & Putnam 1958; Rosenberg 1994).|
|Introductions||Some works have a fairly broad scope, encompassing several of the views just mentioned. See Beckermann et al 1992; van Gulick 2001; and Kim 2003.|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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