Interlevel Metaphysics, Misc

Edited by Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto, St. George, University of Toronto at Scarborough)
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69 found
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  1. Abstractions and Implementations.Russ Abbott - manuscript
    Fundamental to Computer Science is the distinction between abstractions and implementations. When that distinction is applied to various philosophical questions it yields the following conclusions. -/- • EMERGENCE. It isn’t as mysterious as it’s made out to be; the possibility of strong emergence is not a threat to science. -/- • INTERACTIONS BETWEEN HIGHER-LEVEL ENTITIES. Physical interaction among higher-level entities is illusory. Abstract interactions are the source of emergence, new domains of knowledge, and complex systems. -/- • PHYSICS and the (...)
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  2. Time Scales of Observation and Ontological Levels of Reality.Alexey Alyushin - 2010 - Axiomathes 20 (4):439-460.
    My goal is to conceive how the reality would look like for hypothetical creatures that supposedly perceive on time scales much faster or much slower than that of us humans. To attain the goal, I propose modelling in two steps. At step one, we have to single out a unified parameter that sets time scale of perception. Changing substantially the value of the parameter would mean changing scale. I argue that the required parameter is duration of discrete perceptive frames, or (...)
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  3. Must Strong Emergence Collapse?Umut Baysan & Jessica Wilson - forthcoming - Philosophica.
    Some claim that the notion of strong emergence as involving ontological or causal novelty makes no sense, on grounds that any purportedly strongly emergent features or associated powers 'collapse', one way or another, into the lower-level base features upon which they depend. Here we argue that there are several independently motivated and defensible means of preventing the collapse of strongly emergent features or powers into their lower-level bases, as directed against a conception of strongly emergent features as having fundamentally novel (...)
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  4. Conceptual Challenges in the Theoretical Foundations of Systems Biology.Marta Bertolaso & Emanuele Ratti - 2018 - In Mariano Bizzarri (ed.), Systems Biology. New York: Springer, Humana Press. pp. 1-13.
    In the last decade, Systems Biology has emerged as a conceptual and explanatory alternative to reductionist-based approaches in molecular biology. However, the foundations of this new discipline need to be fleshed out more carefully. In this paper, we claim that a relational ontology is a necessary tool to ground both the conceptual and explanatory aspects of Systems Biology. A relational ontology holds that relations are prior—both conceptually and explanatory—to entities, and that in the biological realm entities are defined primarily by (...)
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  5. Philosophical Tasks.Graham Bird - 1972 - London: Hutchinson University Library.
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  6. Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties.Robert C. Bishop & Harald Atmanspacher - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (12):1753-1777.
    The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a (...)
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  7. Must There Be a Top Level?Einar Duenger Bohn - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):193-201.
    I first explore the notion of the world's being such that everything in it is a proper part. I then explore the notion of the world's being such that everything in it both is and has a proper part. Given two well recognized assumptions, I argue that both notions represent genuine metaphysical possibilities. Finally I consider, but dismiss, some possible objections.
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  8. Without Hierarchy: The Scale Freedom of the Universe By Mariam Thalos.George Botterill - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):556-558.
  9. Interdiscourse or Supervenience Relations: The Primacy of the Manifest Image.J. Brakel - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):253 - 297.
    Amidst the progress being made in the various (sub-)disciplines of the behavioural and brain sciences a somewhat neglected subject is the problem of how everything fits into one world and, derivatively, how the relation between different levels of discourse should be understood and to what extent different levels, domains, approaches, or disciplines are autonomous or dependent. In this paper I critically review the most recent proposals to specify the nature of interdiscourse relations, focusing on the concept of supervenience. Ideally supervenience (...)
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  10. Grounding Entails Supervenience.Samuele Chilovi - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Do grounding claims entail corresponding supervenience claims? The question matters, as a positive answer would help grounding theorists address worries that their hyperintensional primitive is obscure, and also increase the argumentative strategies that are available within ground-theoretic frameworks for metaphysical inquiry. Leuenberger (Erkenntnis 79:227–240, 2014a) argues for a negative response, by specifying some candidate principles of entailment and then claiming that each of them is subject to counterexamples. In this paper, I critically assess those principles and the objections he raises (...)
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  11. A Field Guide to Levels.C. F. Craver - 2004 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 77 (3):121.
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  12. Beyond Program Explanation. Cynthia & Graham Macdonald - 2007 - In Geoffrey Brennan, Robert Goodin, Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Common Minds: Themes From the Philosophy of Philip Pettit. Clarendon Press.
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  13. Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views face (...)
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  14. Time Scales and Levels of Organization.James DiFrisco - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):795-818.
    The concept of levels of organization, despite its widespread scientific currency, has recently been criticized by a number of philosophers of science. This paper diagnoses the main source of problems facing theories of levels. On this basis, the problems with the usual criteria for distinguishing levels are evaluated: compositional relations, organizational types, and spatial scales. Drawing on some work on hierarchies in ecology, I argue in favor of an alternative conception of levels defined by the criterion of rates or time (...)
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  15. Layers: A New Approach to Locating Objects in Space.Maureen Donnelly & Barry Smith - 2003 - In W. Kuhn M. F. Worboys & S. Timpf (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Foundations of Geographic Informa­tion Science. Springer. pp. 50-65.
    Standard theories in mereotopology focus on relations of parthood and connection among spatial or spatio-temporal regions. Objects or processes which might be located in such regions are not normally directly treated in such theories. At best, they are simulated via appeal to distributions of attributes across the regions occupied or by functions from times to regions. The present paper offers a richer framework, in which it is possible to represent directly the relations between entities of various types at different levels, (...)
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  16. Review of The Construction of Logical Space by Agustín Rayo. [REVIEW]Cian Dorr - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201406.
  17. Review of James Ladyman and Don Ross, Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized[REVIEW]Cian Dorr - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (6).
    Ladyman, Ross and their collaborators (Spurrett is a co-author of two chapters, Collier of one) begin their book with a ferocious attack on "analytic metaphysics", as it is currently practiced. Their opening blast claims that contemporary analytic metaphysics 'contributes nothing to human knowledge': its practitioners are 'wasting their talents', and the whole enterprise, although 'engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued' (vii). (...)
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  18. The Problem of Secondary Effects.Jeff Engelhardt - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):247-266.
    This paper argues that two principles held by many metaphysicians and philosophers of mind are inconsistent: there is no systematic overdetermination, and some causal effects are also determined by their metaphysical grounds. Call this “The Problem of Secondary Effects.” After introducing the problem and noting philosophical theories that face it, the paper offers further clarification by considering three potential strategies for solving it. All fail. An approach that sacrifices ‘secondary effects’ is briefly sketched as a solution.
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  19. What is Individualism in Social Ontology? Ontological Individualism Vs. Anchor Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2014 - In Finn Collin & Julie Zahle (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism/Holism Debate: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science.
    Individualists about social ontology hold that social facts are “built out of” facts about individuals. In this paper, I argue that there are two distinct kinds of individualism about social ontology, two different ways individual people might be the metaphysical “builders” of the social world. The familiar kind is ontological individualism. This is the thesis that social facts supervene on, or are exhaustively grounded by, facts about individual people. What I call anchor individualism is the alternative thesis that facts about (...)
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  20. Agent-Based Modeling and the Fallacies of Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2011 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge. pp. 115444.
    Agent-​​based modeling is showing great promise in the social sciences. However, two misconceptions about the relation between social macroproperties and microproperties afflict agent-based models. These lead current models to systematically ignore factors relevant to the properties they intend to model, and to overlook a wide range of model designs. Correcting for these brings painful trade-​​offs, but has the potential to transform the utility of such models.
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  21. Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  22. David Chalmers , Constructing the World . Reviewed By.Brian Jonathan Garrett - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (6):440-442.
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  23. Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy.Carl Gillett - 2016 - Cambridge University Press.
    Grand debates over reduction and emergence are playing out across the sciences, but these debates have reached a stalemate, with both sides declaring victory on empirical grounds. In this book, Carl Gillett provides new theoretical frameworks with which to understand these debates, illuminating both the novel positions of scientific reductionists and emergentists and the recent empirical advances that drive these new views. Gillett also highlights the flaws in existing philosophical frameworks and reorients the discussion to reflect the new scientific advances (...)
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  24. Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Many hold an Aristotelian metaphysic of objects: fundamentally, objects fall under sortals and have persistence conditions befitting their sort. Though sometimes offered as a theory of material objects, I argue this view is in fact incompatible with physicalism. Call a ‘sortal’ a kind of object, a ‘sortal identity’ a particular’s nature specified in sortal terms, and ‘sortal properties’ properties that are determined by an object’s sortal identity, such as its persistence conditions. From here the argument runs as follows. Something is (...)
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  25. Truths Qua Grounds.Ghislain Guigon - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences share similar motivations, mechanisms, and applications. I shall (...)
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  26. A Universe of Explanations.Ghislain Guigon - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 345-375.
    This article defends the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) from a simple and direct valid argument according to which PSR implies that there is a truth that explains every truth, namely an omni-explainer. Many proponents of PSR may be willing to bite the bullet and maintain that, if PSR is true, then there is an omni-explainer. I object to this strategy by defending the principle that explanation is irreflexive. Then I argue that proponents of PSR can resist the conclusion that (...)
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  27. Why Explanations? Fundamental, and Less Fundamental Ways of Understanding the World.Bengt Hansson - 2006 - Theoria 72 (1):23-59.
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  28. Levels of Reality.John Heil - 2003 - Ratio 16 (3):205–221.
    Philosophers and non-philosophers have been attracted to the idea that the world incorporates levels of being: higher-level items – ordinary objects, artifacts, human beings – depend on, but are not in any sense reducible to, items at lower levels. I argue that the motivation for levels stems from an implicit acceptance of a Picture Theory of language according to which we can ‘read off’ features of the world from ways we describe the world. Abandonment of the Picture Theory opens the (...)
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  29. Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics, by D. M. Armstrong.H. Hochberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):245-249.
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  30. Grounding Relation(S): Introduction.Paul Hovda & Troy Cross - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):1-6.
  31. The Musicality of Making Philosophy or Karl Jaspers Between West and East.Kiraly V. Istvan - 2005-2006 - Philobiblon - Transilvanian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Humanities 10.
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  32. Is Metaphysical Dependence Irreflexive?C. S. Jenkins - 2011 - The Monist 94 (2):267-276.
  33. The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv058.
    The central aim of this article is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena. After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as what we will call ‘object-involving occurrents’. Furthermore, on the basis (...)
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  34. The Layered Model: Metaphysical Considerations.Jaegwon Kim - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (1):2 – 20.
    This paper examines the idea, commonly presupposed but seldom explicitly stated in discussions of certain philosophical problems, that the objects and phenomena of the world are structured in a hierarchy of "levels", from the bottom level of microparticles to the levels of cells and biological organisms and then to the levels of creatures with mentality and social groups of such creatures. Parallel to this "layered model" of the natural world is an ordering of the sciences, with physics as our "basic" (...)
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  35. Explanatory Knowledge and Metaphysical Dependence.Jaegwon Kim - 1994 - Philosophical Issues 5:51-69.
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  36. Ontological Dependence: An Opinionated Survey.Kathrin Koslicki - 2013 - In Benjamin Schnieder, Miguel Hoeltje & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence (Basic Philosophical Concepts). Philosophia Verlag. pp. 31-64.
    This essay provides an opinionated survey of some recent developments in the literature on ontological dependence. Some of the most popular definitions of ontological dependence are formulated in modal terms; others in non-modal terms (e.g., in terms of the explanatory connective, ‘because’, or in terms of a non-modal conception of essence); some (viz., the existential construals of ontological dependence) emphasise requirements that must be met in order for an entity to exist; others (viz., the essentialist construals) focus on conditions that (...)
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  37. Varieties of Ontological Dependence.Kathrin Koslicki - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 186.
    A significant reorientation is currently under way in analytic metaphysics, away from an almost exclusive focus on questions of existence and towards a greater concentration on questions concerning the dependence of one type of phenomenon on another. Surprisingly, despite the central role dependence has played in philosophy since its inception, interest in a systematic study of this concept has only recently surged among contemporary metaphysicians. In this paper, I focus on a promising account of ontological dependence in terms of a (...)
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  38. The Deflationary Theory of Ontological Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    When an entity ontologically depends on another entity, the former ‘presupposes’ or ‘requires’ the latter in some metaphysical sense. This paper defends a novel view, Dependence Deflationism, according to which ontological dependence is what I call an aggregative cluster concept: a concept which can be understood, but not fully analysed, as a ‘weighted total’ of constructive (roughly: mereological in the broadest possible sense) and modal relations. The view has several benefits: it accounts for clear cases of ontological dependence as well (...)
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  39. Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A (00):00-00.
    Constitutive mechanistic explanations are said to refer to mechanisms that constitute the phenomenon-to-be-explained. The most prominent approach of how to understand this constitution relation is Carl Craver’s mutual manipulability approach to constitutive relevance. Recently, the mutual manipulability approach has come under attack (Leuridan 2012; Baumgartner and Gebharter 2015; Romero 2015; Harinen 2014; Casini and Baumgartner 2016). Roughly, it is argued that this approach is inconsistent because it is spelled out in terms of interventionism (which is an approach to causation), whereas (...)
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  40. Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):453-468.
    According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel :547–563, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10539-006-9028-8) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a mechanism (...)
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  41. A Differentiation of the Meaning of “ Qi ” on Several Levels.Cunshan Li - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (2):194-212.
    In Chinese philosophy, although the concept of qi has numerous meanings, it is not completely without order or chaotic. Generally speaking, qi has several different levels of meanings, such as in philosophy, physics, physiology, psychology, ethics, and so on. On the philosophical level, qi is similar to air, and it is essentially similar to the matter-energy or field in physics, which refers to the origin or an element of all things in the world. It is from this point that the (...)
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  42. Emergent Chance.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
    We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance (“true randomness”) in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties (...)
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  43. Sensible Atoms: A Techno-Aesthetic Approach to Representation. [REVIEW]Sacha Loeve - 2011 - NanoEthics 5 (2):203-222.
    This essay argues that nano-images would be best understood with an aesthetical approach rather than with an epistemological critique. For this aim, I propose a ‘techno-aesthetical’ approach: an enquiry into the way instruments and machines transform the logic of the sensible itself and not just the way by which it represents something else. Unlike critical epistemology, which remains self-evidently grounded on a representationalist philosophy, the approach developed here presents the advantage of providing a clear-cut distinction between image-as-representation and other modes (...)
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  44. Levels of Reality and Scales of Application.Patrick McGivern - 2012 - In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
    Philosophers and scientists often describe theories, laws, and explanations as applying to the world at different 'levels'. The idea of a 'level of application' is often used to demarcate disciplinary or sub-disciplinary boundaries in the sciences. For instance, stoichiometric laws and quantum mechanical laws might be said to describe chemical phenomena at different levels. More generally, the idea of levels is used to distinguish more fundamental laws or theories from less fundamental ones: more fundamental theories are those that apply at (...)
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  45. Pereboom's Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1191-1207.
    Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it (...)
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  46. A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is a full treatment of the comprehensive physicalist view that, in some important sense, everything is physical. Andrew Melnyk argues that the view is best formulated by appeal to a carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so formulated, physicalism must be importantly reductionist; that it need not repudiate causal and explanatory claims framed in non-physical language; and that it has the a posteriori epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue in (...)
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  47. Ontology, Reduction, Emergence: A General Frame.C. Ulises Moulines - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):313-323.
    In a scientific context, ontological commitments should be considered as supervenient over accepted scientific theories. This implies that the primarily ontological notions of reduction and emergence of entities of different kinds should be reformulated in terms of relations between existing empirical theories. For this, in turn, it is most convenient to employ a model-theoretic view of scientific theories: the identity criterion of a scientific theory is essentially given by a class of models. Accordingly, reduction and emergence are to be seen (...)
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  48. John Heil the Universe as We Find It. [REVIEW]Alyssa Ney - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):881-886.
  49. Zeno Objects and Supervenience.Simon Prosser - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):18 - 26.
    Many philosophers accept a ‘layered’ world‐view according to which the facts about the higher ontological levels supervene on the facts about the lower levels. Advocates of such views often have in mind a version of atomism, according to which there is a fundamental level of indivisible objects known as simples or atoms upon whose spatiotemporal locations and intrinsic properties everything at the higher levels supervenes.1 Some, however, accept the possibility of ‘gunk’ worlds in which there are parts ‘all the way (...)
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  50. The Eleatic Non-Stick Frying Pan.Simon Prosser - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):187–194.
    A novel way of making a non-stick frying pan using a topologically open surface is described. While the article has a slight humorous element to it, it is also intended to contain some serious philosophical points concerning the nature of infinitely divisible matter and the kind of contact that must occur between objects in order for them to interact.
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