Comment on David Papineau, Can any sciences be special?

Abstract
David Papineau, Jerry Fodor and many others wonder how the conjunction of the following three positions can be true: 1) Special science laws: There are lawlike generalizations in the special sciences. These sciences trade in kinds that are such that statements about salient, reliable correlations that are projectible and that support counterfactuals apply to the tokens coming under these kinds. 2) Non-reductionism: The laws of some of the special sciences cannot be reduced to physical laws. 3) Physicalism: Everything there is in the world supervenes on the physical, that is, is fixed by the distribution of the physical properties in the world. The obvious problem is that (3) implies that the similarities among tokens in the world, accounting for the kinds in which the special sciences trade, and the correlations among such tokens, accounting for the laws of the special sciences, are fixed by the distribution of the physical properties. By contrast, (2) implies that some of the laws seizing such correlations are not reducible to physical laws. By using the term “token”, I mean a particular instantiating a property. Papineau’s proposal to reconcile these three positions is to account for (2) in terms of selection (pp. 6-9): There can be laws in the special sciences that are not reducible to physical laws if and only if these laws focus on effects that are selected for in a given context independently of the mechanisms by which they are brought about. Thus, the fact of there being such laws and their non-reducibility to physics do not contradict physicalism (3). The drawback is that the kinds that figure in such laws cannot enter into a rich network of laws 199 and that nothing can be causally efficacious insofar as it is a member of such a kind. In these comments, I shall try to push Papineau further in the direction of a reductive physicalism, thus solving the problem by simply abandoning (2)..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,330
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
David Papineau (2010). Can Any Sciences Be Special? In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. 179--197.
Alexander Reutlinger (2011). A Theory of Non-Universal Laws. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
Jaegwon Kim (2012). Against Laws in the Special Sciences. Journal of Philosophical Research 37 (Supplement):103-122.
Crawford L. Elder (2001). The Problem of Harmonizing Laws. Philosophical Studies 105 (1):25 - 41.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

118 ( #7,568 of 1,096,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

22 ( #5,120 of 1,096,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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