The limitations of Kim's reductive physicalism in accounting for living systems and an alternative nonreductionist ontology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 55 (3):243-267 (2007)
Jaegwon Kim’s exclusion argument is a general ontological argument, applicable to any properties deemed supervenient on a microproperty basis, including biological properties. It implies that the causal power of any higher-level property must be reducible to the subset of the causal powers of its lower-level properties. Moreover, as Kim’s recent version of the argument indicates, a higher-level property can be causally efficient only to the extent of the efficiency of its micro-basis. In response, I argue that the ontology that aims to capture experimentally based explanations of metabolic control systems and morphogenetic systems must involve causally relevant contextual properties. Such an ontology challenges the exclusiveness of micro-based causal efficiency that grounds Kim’s reductionism, since configurations themselves are inherently causally efficient constituents. I anticipate and respond to the reductionist’s objection that the nonreductionist ontology’s account of causes and inter-level causal relations is incoherent. I also argue that such an ontology is not open to Kim’s overdetermination objection.
|Keywords||reduction emergence biology causation downward causation Jaegwon Kim|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
JeeLoo Liu (2001). A Nonreductionist's Solution to Kim's Explanatory Exclusion Problem. Manuscrito 24 (1):7-47.
Larry Shapiro (2010). Lessons From Causal Exclusion. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):594-604.
Ned Block (2003). Do Causal Powers Drain Away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
Sven Walter (2005). Program Explanations and Causal Relevance. Acta Analytica 20 (36):32-47.
Christian List & Peter Menzies (2009). Nonreductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle. Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
Simone Gozzano (2009). Levels, Orders and the Causal Status of Mental Properties. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):347-362.
Thomas D. Bontly (2002). The Supervenience Argument Generalizes. Philosophical Studies 109 (1):75-96.
Patrick McGivern (2008). Reductive Levels and Multi-Scale Structure. Synthese 165 (1):53 - 75.
Kelly Trogdon (2009). Physicalism and Sparse Ontology. Philosophical Studies 143 (2):147-165.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #82,734 of 1,699,807 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #128,702 of 1,699,807 )
How can I increase my downloads?