David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):114–133 (2007)
I show how existing concepts of supervenience relate to two more fundamental ontological relations: determination and dependence. Determination says that the supervenient properties of a thing are a function of its base properties, while dependence says that having a supervenient property implies having a base property. I show that most varieties of supervenience are either determination relations or determination relations conjoined with dependence relations. In the process of unpacking these connections I identify limitations of existing concepts of supervenience and provide ways of overcoming them. What results is a more precise, flexible, and powerful set of tools for relating sets of properties than current concepts of supervenience provide. I apply these tools to a recalcitrant problem in the physicalism literature – the problem of extras.
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