Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Studies 163 (1):197-211 (2013)
|Abstract||A physicalist holds, in part, that what properties are instantiated depends on what physical properties are instantiated; a physicalist thinks that mental properties, for example, are instantiated in virtue of the instantiation of physical “realizer” properties. One issue that arises in this context concerns the relationship between the “causal powers” of instances of physical properties and instances of dependent properties, properties that are instantiated in virtue of the instantiation of physical properties. After explaining the significance of this issue, I evaluate two core lines of thought that have been advanced in favor of Subset Inheritance, the view that instances of dependent properties typically have some, but not all, of the powers of physical realizers, and do not have any powers that are not also powers of physical realizers. The first argument that I address turns on our intuitive reactions to certain cases; the second appeals to the phenomenon of multiple realization. I argue that neither line of thought succeeds, and thus that insofar as we grant that an instance of a dependent property inherits some of the powers of its physical realizer, defenders of subset inheritance have not provided a compelling reason to think that it will not inherit all of the powers of its physical realizer|
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