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Summary

The subject of interlevel relations concerns the connection between items described by the different sciences, from fundamental-level physics to high-level human sciences. Philosophers analyze these relations in terms of concepts like reduction, or emergence, or supervenience, or realization. The subject is essential to any broad picture of the sciences and the world. 

Key works Most of the works in philosophy divide along the aforementioned views. For reduction, important ideas includes reduction as a derivation by bridge principles (Nagel 1961), approximate reduction (Schaffner 1967), an expanded continuum of strong to weak reduction that advertises no bridge laws (Churchland 1979; Hooker 1981; Bickle 1997), compositional or mechanistic reduction (Wimsatt 1976; Rosenberg 2006; Bechtel 2007), and functional reduction (Kim 1998). For emergence, there are views that involve epistemic, metaphysical, synchronic, and diachronic ideas (McLaughlin 1992; Wimsatt 1997; Humphreys 2008), as well as issues about actual cases in the sciences (Batterman 2001; Davies 2006). For supervenience, there are weak, strong, global, and mereological varieties (Kim 1993; Horgan 1993; McLaughlin 1995), as well as debates over their significance for issues of explanation and dependence (Grimes 1988; Bennett 2004) and their adequacy to express a doctrine of physicalism (Wilson 2005). For realization, the are accounts in terms of parts and wholes (Cummins 1983; Gillett 2002), functional roles and occupation (Papineau 1993; Melnyk 1994; Kim 1998), determinables and determinates (MacDonald & MacDonald 1986; Yablo 1992), and subsets of causal powers (Wilson 1999, 2011; Shoemaker 2001, 2007). There are also questions about the resulting broad picture of the sciences and how it is unified (Oppenheim & Putnam 1958; Rosenberg 1994).
Introductions Some works have a fairly broad scope, encompassing several of the views just mentioned. See Beckermann et al 1992; van Gulick 2001; and Kim 2003.
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  1. Constitutive Relevance and Mutual Manipulability Revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    An adequate understanding of the ubiquitous practice of mechanistic explanation requires an account of what Craver (2007) termed “constitutive relevance.” Entities or activities are constitutively relevant to a phenomenon when they are parts of the mechanism responsible for that phenomenon. Craver’s mutual manipulability (MM) account extended Woodward’s account of manipulationist counterfactuals to analyze how interlevel experiments establish constitutive relevance. Critics of MM (e.g., Baumgartner and Gebharter 2016 and Baumgartner and Casini 2017) argue that applying Woodward’s account to this philosophical problem (...)
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  2. Difference-Making and Deterministic Chance.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Why do we value higher-level scientific explanations if, ultimately, the world is physical? An attractive answer is that physical explanations often cite facts that don't make a difference to the event in question. I claim that to properly develop this view we need to commit to a type of deterministic chance. And in doing so, we see the theoretical utility of deterministic chance, giving us reason to accept a package of views including deterministic chance.
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  3. Multiple Realizability and Biological Modality.Rami Koskinen - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1123-1133.
    Critics of multiple realizability have recently argued that we should concentrate solely on actual here-and-now realizations that are found in nature. The possibility of alternative, but unactualized, realizations is regarded as uninteresting because it is taken to be a question of pure logic or an unverifiable scenario of science fiction. However, in the biological context only a contingent set of realizations is actualized. Drawing on recent work on the theory of neutral biological spaces, the paper shows that we can have (...)
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  4. Does Physics Rule the Roost of Scientific Explanation?William C. Saslaw - 2004 - In John Cornwell (ed.), Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 67.
  5. Physics Met Biology, and the Consequence Was….Tom McLeish - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):190-192.
    We summarise the contributions to the discussion and the links between them. The complex relationship between the physical and biological sciences demonstrates three “axes of tension”: the role of simulation, the interplay between levels of explanation, and the generality of “laws”. We identify examples of true synergy between approaches that genuinely explore new research territory, and underscore the contemporary value of the type of discussions contained in this volume.
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  6. Is the Nature of Physical Reality Unknowable?Joel J. Kupperman - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (2):99 - 105.
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  7. The Choice of Facts.Henri Poincaré - 1909 - The Monist 19 (2):231-239.
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  8. Causal Pluralism Without Levels: Comments on Humphreys.James Bohman - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):115-127.
  9. Normative All the Way Down.Stephen Turner - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (2):419-429.
  10. Structural Levels in the Scientist's World.Harold Chapman Brown - 1916 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 13 (13):337-345.
  11. Comments on Dr. Hochberg's Paper.Richard L. Cartwright - 1956 - Philosophy of Science 23 (3):260-265.
  12. Rejoinder.Martin Carrier & Jürgen Mittelstrass - 1995 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (1):103-104.
  13. A Challenge.C. W. Churchman - 1945 - Philosophy of Science 12 (3):219-220.
  14. Class-Membership and the Ontological Problem.James K. Feibleman - 1950 - Philosophy of Science 17 (3):254-259.
  15. Are Micro-Entities Picturable?T. R. Girill - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (4):570-574.
  16. The Problem of a Fundamental Science.Ernst Harms - 1939 - Philosophical Review 48 (1):46-56.
  17. Comments to Heelans Thesis.Werner Heisenberg & Patrick A. Heelan - 1975 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 6 (1):137-138.
  18. On Reduction Properties.Hirotaka Kikyo & Akito Tsuboi - 1994 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 59 (3):900-911.
  19. Causal Composition and Structured Wholes: Reply to Robert Causey.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1):463-465.
  20. Kinds of Micro-Explanation: Reply to Erik Weber and Helena de Preester.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1):187-190.
  21. Constitutions of Matter.J. M. - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (2):277-279.
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  22. The Basic Question: Monism or Dualism?Cecil H. Miller - 1947 - Philosophy of Science 14 (1):1-12.
  23. Hanson on the Unpicturability of Micro-Entities.Anthony M. Paul - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):50-53.
  24. Concerning the Integration of Sciences: Kinds and Stages. [REVIEW]A. Polikarov - 1995 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 26 (2):297 - 312.
    The detailed analysis allows to discern seven kinds of integration, namely: I₁ consisting in the synthesis of scientific disciplines from their elements, including disciplinary unification I₁; I₂ inclusion of a science in (reduction to) another, more general; I₃ - links between different sciences, especially establishing of common elements; I₄ - interdisciplines bridging various sciences; I₅ - combination of two (or more) disciplines into a new (complex) science; I₆ - a general approach to several domains or multidisciplinary unification; I₇ - transdisciplinary (...)
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  25. A Theory of Relevant Properties 1: Reflections and Definitions.Yaroslav Shramko - 1999 - Theoria 14 (1):63-81.
    In the paper a theory of relevant properties is developed. The theory permits us to distinguish between properties that are relevant to an object and the properties that are irrelevant to it. Predication is meaningful only if a property is relevant to an object. On the base of introducing a special negative type of predication as opposed to usual sentential negation, a new notion of generalization for properties is defined. Context-free, as weIl as context-depended relevance of properties are considered.
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  26. S. Morgenbesser, P. Suppes, and M. White (Eds.). Philosophy, Science, and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel.Marshall Spector - 1971 - Metaphilosophy 2 (3):251–267.
  27. Outline of an Emergent Theory of Value.K. R. Srinivasiengar - 1935 - International Journal of Ethics 45 (4):413-421.
  28. A Reply to Jones.Daniel Steel - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):682-687.
  29. On the D-Thesis.J. W. Swanson - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (1):59-68.
  30. Apunte Sobre la Indistinguibilidad.Enric Trillas - 1993 - Theoria 8 (1):23-49.
    A través de una serie de ejemplos matemáticos elementales se Ilega a proponer una definición bastante general de Indistinguibilidad, por medio de operadores con valores en semigrupos conmutativos ordenados. Tal definición se aplica a casos provenientes de diversos campos, muchos de los cuales exhiban la propiedad da rotura de las cadenas de objetos relacionados a causa de un cierto parecido.
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  31. The Darwinian Synthesis: A Critique of the Rosenberg/Williams Argument.G. Van Balen - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (4):441-448.
  32. What is Matter?P. J. van Heerden - 1953 - Philosophy of Science 20 (4):276-285.
  33. Particulars, Universals and Verification.Bruce Waters - 1940 - Philosophy of Science 7 (1):81-91.
  34. Omissions and Responsibility.Elazar Weinryb - 1980 - Philosophical Quarterly 30 (118):1-18.
  35. Group-Level Cognition.Robert A. Wilson - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S262-S273.
    David Sloan Wilson has recently revived the idea of a group mind as an application of group selectionist thinking to cognition. Central to my discussion of this idea is the distinction between the claim that groups have a psychology and what I call the social manifestation thesis-a thesis about the psychology of individuals. Contemporary work on this topic has confused these two theses. My discussion also points to research questions and issues that Wilson's work raises, as well as their connection (...)
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  36. Science Without Properties.J. H. Woodger - 1951 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 2 (7):193-216.
  37. Compact Entailment and Wright's Verification Principle.Byeong-Uk Yi - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):413-421.
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  38. Normative, Descriptive, and Ideological Elements in the Writings of Laski.Lewis Zerby - 1945 - Philosophy of Science 12 (2):134-145.
  1. The Structure and Dynamics Argument Against Materialism Revisited.Andrei Mărăşoiu - 2020 - Problemos 98.
    Alter elaborates and defends an ambitious argument advanced by Chalmers against physicalism. As Alter notes, the argument is valid. But I will argue that not all its premises are true. In particular, it is false that all physical truths are purely structural. In denying this, I focus not on the objects of pure physical theory but on the homely, macroscopic objects of our daily lives.
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  2. Essence, Explanation, and Modality.Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - forthcoming - Philosophy:1-27.
    Recently, Kit Fine's view that modal truths are true in virtue of, grounded in, or explained by essentialist truths has been under attack. In what follows we offer two responses to the wave of criticism against his view. While the first response is pretty straightforward, the second is based on the distinction between, what we call, Reductive Finean Essentialism and Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale on Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism, we aim to show that the arguments against (...)
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  3. Introducción a la Ontología.Axel Barceló - manuscript
    Intuitivamente, la realidad está formada por entidades y hechos existentes y concretos. Sin embargo, nuestro lenguaje y pensamiento versa también sobre hechos meramente posibles, sobre cosas inexistentes y entidades abstractas. ¿Cómo es esto posible? ¿Significa ello que cuando hablamos y pensamos de estas otras cosas no hablamos de nada real? ¿o mas bien la realidad está mas poblada de lo que pensábamos y hay diferentes maneras de formar parte de la realidad además de la de existir de manera positiva y (...)
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  4. The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
    Fine, Lowe and Hale accept the view that necessity is to be explained by essences: Necessarily p iff, and because, there is some x whose essence ensures that p. Hale, however, believes that this strategy is not universally applicable; he argues that the necessity of essentialist truths cannot itself be explained by once again appealing to essentialist truths. As a consequence, Hale holds that there are basic necessities that cannot be explained. Thus, Hale style essentialism falls short of what Wilsch (...)
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  5. Philosophical Issues Concerning Phase Transitions and Anyons: Emergence, Reduction, and Explanatory Fictions.Elay Shech - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):585-615.
    Various claims regarding intertheoretic reduction, weak and strong notions of emergence, and explanatory fictions have been made in the context of first-order thermodynamic phase transitions. By appealing to John Norton’s recent distinction between approximation and idealization, I argue that the case study of anyons and fractional statistics, which has received little attention in the philosophy of science literature, is more hospitable to such claims. In doing so, I also identify three novel roles that explanatory fictions fulfill in science. Furthermore, I (...)
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  6. Reduction as an a Posteriori Relation.Joshua Rosaler - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):269-299.
    Reduction between theories in physics is often approached as an a priori relation in the sense that reduction is often taken to depend only on a comparison of the mathematical structures of two theories. I argue that such approaches fail to capture one crucial sense of “reduction,” whereby one theory encompasses the set of real behaviors that are well-modeled by the other. Reduction in this sense depends not only on the mathematical structures of the theories, but also on empirical facts (...)
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  7. Emergence Without Limits: The Case of Phonons.Alexander Franklin & Eleanor Knox - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:68-78.
    Recent discussions of emergence in physics have focussed on the use of limiting relations, and often particularly on singular or asymptotic limits. We discuss a putative example of emergence that does not fit into this narrative: the case of phonons. These quasi-particles have some claim to be emergent, not least because the way in which they relate to the underlying crystal is almost precisely analogous to the way in which quantum particles relate to the underlying quantum field theory. But there (...)
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  8. Critical Notice: Emergence.David Yates - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):557-562.
    Paul Humphreys’ main aim in this wide-ranging and ambitious book is to defend a novel account of ontological emergence he refers to as transformational emergence. His secondary aims are many: to show how ontological emergence so understood can be usefully seen against the backdrop of a reductionist position he calls generative atomism ; to compare and contrast his preferred position with historical and contemporary alternatives; and to consider a range of scientific cases both as potential examples of ontological emergence and (...)
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  9. Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis.Alexander Hieke & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.) - 2009 - Ontos.
    This volume collects contributions comprising all these topics, including articles by Alexander Bird, Jaakko Hintikka, James Ladyman, Rohit Parikh, Gerhard ...
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  10. Mechanistic Levels, Reduction, and Emergence.Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2017 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 185-97.
    We sketch the mechanistic approach to levels, contrast it with other senses of “level,” and explore some of its metaphysical implications. This perspective allows us to articulate what it means for things to be at different levels, to distinguish mechanistic levels from realization relations, and to describe the structure of multilevel explanations, the evidence by which they are evaluated, and the scientific unity that results from them. This approach is not intended to solve all metaphysical problems surrounding physicalism. Yet it (...)
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  11. Algebra of Theoretical Term Reductions in the Sciences.Dale Jacquette - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (1): 51-67.
    An elementary algebra identifies conceptual and corresponding applicational limitations in John Kemeny and Paul Oppenheim’s (K-O) 1956 model of theoretical reduction in the sciences. The K-O model was once widely accepted, at least in spirit, but seems afterward to have been discredited, or in any event superceeded. Today, the K-O reduction model is seldom mentioned, except to clarify when a reduction in the Kemeny-Oppenheim sense is not intended. The present essay takes a fresh look at the basic mathematics of K-O (...)
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  12. Unifying Science Without Reduction.Nancy L. Maull - 1977 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 8 (2):143.
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