Reduction, autonomy, and causal exclusion among physical properties

Synthese 139 (1):1-21 (2004)
  Is there a problem of causal exclusion between micro- and macro-level physical properties? I argue (following Kim) that the sorts of properties thatin fact are in competition are macro properties, viz., the property of a (macro-) system of `having such-and-such macro properties'' (call this a `macro-structural property'') and the property of the same system of `being constituted by such-and-such a micro-structure'' (call this a `micro-structural property''). I show that there are cases where, for lack of reducibility, there is a prima facie intra-level causal competition between the two kinds of properties. The problem can be resolved without giving up on the causal efficacy of the macro-structural properties if we understandinstances of macro-structural properties to be parts ofmicro-structural property instances. The parthood relation between both kinds of property instances can bemapped onto the way physical theory deals with the relation of their descriptionsin the framework of perturbation theory. The application of this framework to theproblem of emergent properties is discussed
Keywords Autonomy  Causation  Metaphysics  Physicalism  Property  Reduction  Kim, J
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DOI 10.1023/B:SYNT.0000021305.91409.d3
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