Properties, Powers, and the Subset Account of Realization

According to the subset account of realization, a property, F, is realized by another property, G, whenever F is individuated by a non-empty proper subset of the causal powers by which G is individuated (and F is not a conjunctive property of which G is a conjunct). This account is especially attractive because it seems both to explain the way in which realized properties are nothing over and above their realizers, and to provide for the causal efficacy of realized properties. It therefore seems to provide a way around the causal exclusion problem. There is reason to doubt, however, that the subset account can achieve both tasks. The problem arises when we look closely at the relation between properties and causal powers, specifically, at the idea that properties confer powers on the things that have them. If realizers are to be ontically prior to what they realize, then we must regard the conferral of powers by properties as a substantive relation of determination. This relation of conferral is at the heart of a kind of exclusion problem, analogous to the familiar causal exclusion problem. I argue that the subset account cannot adequately answer this new exclusion problem, and is for that reason ill-suited to be the backbone of a non-reductive physicalism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00476.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Stephen Yablo (1992). Mental Causation. Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jeff Engelhardt (2015). What is the Exclusion Problem? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kevin Morris (2011). Subset Realization and Physical Identification. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):317-335.
Sydney Shoemaker (2003). Realization, Micro-Realization, and Coincidence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):1-23.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

123 ( #21,522 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #46,799 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.