Psychophysical Reduction

Edited by John Donaldson (University of Glasgow)
Assistant editor: Zili Dong (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary Psychophysical reduction comes in two main forms: theoretical or ontological. The former involves showing that psychological theory can be appropriately derived from physical theory, the latter involves showing that psychological entities are identical to physical entities. One can be a reductionist, and hold that the psychological reduces to the physical, or deny this and be a non-reductionist. Despite the first reductionists, such as J. J. C. Smart and Herbert Feigl, starting the debate by defending the ontological rather than theoretical form, until recently most of the discussion of the prospects for reductionism focussed on the theoretical form, with many holding that psychological theory cannot be appropriately derived from physical theory. Towards the end of the twentieth century, non-reductionism (of the materialist sort) was overwhelmingly dominant, but reductionism has gone through something of a revival since then, with ontological reductionism probably considered by most to be the more tenable form.
Key works According to the standard story, the roots of reductionism terminate in the work of Place 1956; Feigl 1958; Oppenheim & Putnam 1958; and Smart 1959. The classic objections to reductionism can be found in the work of Putnam 1967, 1975; Davidson 1970; Fodor 1974; and Boyd 1980. The high watermark of non-reductionism can be found in Block 1997 and Fodor 1997. Since around the time that mark was reached, most discussion has proceeded in one of two directions. First, the basic terms of the debate have been questioned. For example, some have tried to defend a version of ontological reductionism while labelling it "non-reductionism" for some other reason, see Antony & Levine 1997; Clapp 2001, and Antony 2003. Second, the prospects for a revival of reductionism of one sort or another have been examined. See, for example: Hill 1991; Kim 1992, 1998, 2005; Block & Stalnaker 1999; Bechtel 1999; Gillett & Loewer 2001; Shapiro 2004; Polger 2004; Bickle 1998; 2010; Hohwy & Kallestrup 2008; Gozzano & Hill 2012; Gibb et al 2013. In the process of this, the nature of reduction has been debated - a survey of which can be found in van Riel 2014.
Introductions The introduction to the collection edited by Gozzano and Hill (2012) is a good place to start, and that volume also contains much of the state of the art thinking on the prospects for reductionism. Kim 2005 is also a good way in. Enyclopedia entries include Smart 2007, and Bickle 2008, with the latter focussing on the multiple realization argument, which is often taken to be the main argument against reductionism.
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  1. Conventionalising Rebirth: Buddhist Agnosticism and the Doctrine of Two Truths.Bronwyn Finnigan - forthcoming - In Yujin Nagasawa & Mohammad Saleh Zarepour (eds.), Global Dialogues in the Philosophy of Religion: from Religious Experience to the Afterlife. Oxford University Press.
    What should the Buddhist attitude be to rebirth if one accepts that it is inconsistent with current science? This chapter critically engages forms of Buddhist agnosticism that adopt a position of uncertainty about rebirth but nevertheless recommend ‘behaving as if’ it were true. What does it mean to behave as if rebirth were true, and are Buddhist agnostics justified in adopting this position? This chapter engages this question in dialogue with Mark Siderits’ reductionist analysis of the Buddhist doctrine of the (...)
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Nonreductive Materialism
  1. Time, Consciousness and the Foundations of Science.Stephen Deiss - 2010 - Journal of Consciouness Exploration and Research 1 (5).
    This very brief but conceptually dense article provides a useful definition of consciousness, puts self consciousness into proper perspective, clarifies the nature of time, change and inertia, and ties consciousness to the foundations of physics as the inherent and fundamental process in nature. It is an implicit argument for a type of (proto) panpsychism or panexperientialism.
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  2. Exclusion, Subset Realization, and Part‐Whole Relations.Wenjun Zhang - 2022 - Ratio 35 (1):5-15.
    The subset realization view proposes to solve the causal exclusion problem of non‐reductive mental instances by taking the mental instance as a part of its physical realizer. Many philosophers have argued that such a part‐whole relation will undermine physicalist realization because parts are ontologically prior to their wholes and the subset view is thus flawed. I argue that the relation that the subset view should propose is different from the ordinary part‐whole relation. What they should propose is another kind of (...)
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  3. Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):53-73.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these autonomist models fail on account (...)
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  4. The Normative and the Natural.Michael Padraic Wolf & Jeremy Randel Koons - 2016 - New York: Palgrave.
    Drawing on a rich pragmatist tradition, this book offers an account of the different kinds of ‘oughts’, or varieties of normativity, that we are subject to contends that there is no conflict between normativity and the world as science describes it. The authors argue that normative claims aim to evaluate, to urge us to do or not do something, and to tell us how a state of affairs ought to be. These claims articulate forms of action-guidance that are different in (...)
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  5. Trope Mental Causation: Still Not Qua Mental.Wenjun Zhang - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    A popular solution to the causal exclusion problem in the non-reductive physicalist camp is the trope identity solution. But this solution is haunted by the “quausation problem” which charges that the trope only confers causal powers qua physical, not qua mental. Although proponents of the trope solution have responded to the problem by denying the existence of properties of tropes, I do not find their reply satisfactory. Rather, I believe they have missed the core presupposition behind the quausation problem. I (...)
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  6. Difference-making and deterministic chance.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2215-2235.
    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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  7. Review of Kevin Morris, Physicalism Deconstructed: Levels of Reality and the Mind-Body Problem. [REVIEW]Jessica M. Wilson - 2020 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:0-0.
    Morris’s book is a valuable contribution. For the reasons below, I don’t think his case against NRP succeeds, and his version of EP faces a serious difficulty. Even so, this is an admirably clear, subtle, and well-informed brief, and philosophers interested in the structure of natural reality have much to gain from Morris’s insightful discussion and argumentation.
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  8. A Challenge to the Second Law of Thermodynamics From Cognitive Science and Vice Versa.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4897-4927.
    We show that the so-called Multiple-Computations Theorem in cognitive science and philosophy of mind challenges Landauer’s Principle in physics. Since the orthodox wisdom in statistical physics is that Landauer’s Principle is implied by, or is the mechanical equivalent of, the Second Law of thermodynamics, our argument shows that the Multiple-Computations Theorem challenges the universal validity of the Second Law of thermodynamics itself. We construct two examples of computations carried out by one and the same dynamical process with respect to which (...)
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  9. Mentality and Object: Computational and Cognitive Diachronic Emergence.Ekin Erkan - 2020 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 20 (2):296-356.
    Espousing non-reductive physicalism, how do we pick out the specific relevant physical notion(s) from physical facts, specifically in relation to phenomenal experience? Beginning with a historical review of Gilbert Ryle’s behaviorism and moving through Hilary Putnam’s machine-state functionalism and Wilfrid Sellars’ inferential framework, up to more contemporaneous computationalist- and cognitivist-functionalism (Gualtiero Piccinini), we survey accounts of mentality that countenance the emergence of mental states vide input- and output-scheme. Ultimately arriving at the conclusion that functionalism cannot account for problems such as (...)
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  10. A Grounding Physicalist Solution to the Causal Exclusion Problem.Robin Stenwall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11775-11795.
    Remember how Kim Mental causation, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993b) used to argue against non-reductive physicalism to the effect that it cannot accommodate the causal efficacy of the mental? The argument was that if physicalists accept the causal closure of the physical, they are faced with an exclusion problem. In the original version of the argument, the dependence holding between the mental and the physical was cashed out in terms of supervenience. Due to the work or Fine and others, we have (...)
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  11. Terence Horgan, Marcelo Sabatés, and David Sosa (Eds.): Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes From the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim. [REVIEW]Daniel Stoljar - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1.
    Review of Horgan, Sabatés, and Sosa's (eds.) *Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes from the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim*.
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  12. Causal Exclusion Without Causal Sufficiency.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Synthese 198:10341-10353.
    Some non-reductionists claim that so-called ‘exclusion arguments’ against their position rely on a notion of causal sufficiency that is particularly problematic. I argue that such concerns about the role of causal sufficiency in exclusion arguments are relatively superficial since exclusionists can address them by reformulating exclusion arguments in terms of physical sufficiency. The resulting exclusion arguments still face familiar problems, but these are not related to the choice between causal sufficiency and physical sufficiency. The upshot is that objections to the (...)
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  13. Penyebaban Sosial (Social Causation) dalam Individualisme Non-Reduktif R. Keith Sawyer.Banin Diar Sukmono - 2016 - Cogito: Jurnal Mahasiswa Filsafat 3 (1):23-48.
    Artikel ini bertujuan untuk memaparkan bagaimana penyebaban sosial dapat terjadi dalam perspektif individualisme non-reduktif (Non-reductive Individualism/NRI) R. Keith Sawyer. NRI adalah perluasan argumen fisikalisme non-reduktif dari filsafat akal budi untuk memberikan bingkai (framework) baru dalam melihat debat ontologis dan metodologis filsafat ilmu sosial. Cara yang digunakan adalah membasiskan landasan ontologis ilmu sosial pada eksistensi individu (individualisme ontologis), sekaligus mengiyakan dua level analisis properti, yakni level individual (bawah) dan sosial (atas) (dualisme properti). Mengingat posisi non-reduktif selalu dibayangi problem overdeterminasi dan epifenomena (...)
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  14. Retiring the Argument From Reason.David Kyle Johnson - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):541-563.
    In C. S. Lewis’s Christian Apologetics: Pro and Con, I took the con in a debate with Victor Reppert about the soundness of Lewis’s famous “argument from reason.” Reppert then extended his argument in an article for Philosophia Christi; this article is my reply. I show that Reppert’s argument fails for three reasons. It “loads the die” by falsely assuming that naturalism, by definition, can't include mental causation "on the basic level.". Physical processes can reliably produce true beliefs. And reasoning (...)
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  15. Antireductionist Interventionism.Reuben Stern & Benjamin Eva - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s (2005) interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter (2017a), who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of causation relies crucially (...)
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  16. It Depends What the Meaning of 'Is' Is: Santayana, Identity Theory, and the Mind-Body Problem.Jessica Wahman - 2007 - In Under Any Sky: Contemporary Readings of George Santayana.
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  17. Practical Realism About the Self.Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2020 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Themes From the Philosophy of Lynne Rudder Baker. Routledge.
    In Explaining Attitudes, Baker argues that we should treat our everyday practices as relevant to metaphysical debates, resulting in a stance of realism with respect to intentional explanations. In this chapter I will argue that if one is going to be a practical realist about anything, it should be the self, or subject of attention. I will use research on attention combined with the stance of practical realism to argue in favor of a substantive self. That is, I will present (...)
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  18. Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Wiley: Dialectica 73 (4):479-505.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist model, according to which the physical cause is a sufficient cause of (...)
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  19. Asceticism of the Mind: Forms of Attention and Self‐Transformation in Late Antique Monasticism by InbarGraiver, Studies and Texts 213 , X + 237 Pp. [REVIEW]Hans Boersma - 2020 - Modern Theology 36 (1):225-227.
  20. Emergence and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Frank Macdonald - 2019 - In Sophie Gibb, Robin Findlay Hendry & Tom Lancaster (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Emergence. New York, NY, USA; Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. pp. 195-205.
  21. Humeanism, Best System Laws, and Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):719-738.
    In the current article and contrary to a widespread assumption, I argue that Humeanism and ontological emergence can peacefully coexist. Such a coexistence can be established by reviving elements of John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of science, in which an idiosyncratic account of diachronic emergence is associated with extensions of the Humean mosaic and the correlative coming into being of new best system laws, which have the peculiarity of being temporally indexed. Incidentally, this reconciliation of Humeanism and emergence allows for conceiving (...)
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  22. Truthmaking and the Mysteries of Emergence.Kevin Morris - 2018 - In Elly Vintiadis & Constantinos Mekios (eds.), Brute Facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The concept of truthmaking, the idea that when a statement is true, there is typically something about the world in virtue of which it is true, has garnered much interest in recent metaphysics. Often, the motivation has been the thought that truthmaking can provide a new perspective on an important issue. This paper evaluates the claim that truthmaking can play a substantive role in defining an unproblematic notion of emergence. For despite playing an important role in philosophical discourse over the (...)
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  23. Mental Causation as Joint Causation.Chiwook Won - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4917-4937.
    This paper explores and defends the idea that mental properties and their physical bases jointly cause their physical effects. The paper evaluates the view as an emergentist response to the exclusion problem, comparing it with a competing nonreductive physicalist solution, the compatibilist solution, and argues that the joint causation view is more defensible than commonly supposed. Specifically, the paper distinguishes two theses of closure, Strong Closure and Weak Closure, two causal exclusion problems, the overdetermination problem and the supervenience problem, and (...)
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  24. Autonomous Mental Causation and Mental‐Qua‐Mental Causation.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (2):245-267.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse autonomous mental causation, the view that mental causes, as distinct from physical causes, bring about mental and physical effects. The causal exclusion problem has recently pressured nonreductive physicalists to replace autonomous mental causation with reduced mental causation, the view that mental causes, as physical causes, bring about mental and physical effects. Reduced mental causation, in turn, faces the problem of mental quausation, according to which reduced mental causation only delivers mental‐as‐physical causation, not the requisite mental‐as‐mental causation. Proponents (...)
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  25. Mental Causation: A Counterfactual Theory.Thomas Kroedel - 2020 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Our minds have physical effects. This happens, for instance, when we move our bodies when we act. How is this possible? Thomas Kroedel defends an account of mental causation in terms of difference-making: if our minds had been different, the physical world would have been different; therefore, the mind causes events in the physical world. His account not only explains how the mind has physical effects at all, but solves the exclusion problem - the problem of how those effects can (...)
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  26. Kompatybilistyczna odpowiedź na problem wykluczenia przyczynowego.Jan Rostek - 2019 - Filozofia Nauki 27 (1):73-93.
    The causal exclusion problem, as presented by Jaegwon Kim, is aimed to show that non-reductive physicalism is self-contradictory, as it is impossible for effects already having a sufficient physical cause to have a distinct mental cause. One possible reply to Kim’s argument is compatibilism — a view within non-reductive physicalism that states that psychophysical supervenience is able to sustain the coexistence of efficacious mental and physical causes. The aim of this paper is to describe the currently most popular compatibilist strategy, (...)
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  27. Taking Emergentism Seriously.Lei Zhong - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):31-46.
    The Exclusion Argument has afflicted non-reductionists for decades. In this article, I attempt to show that emergentism—the view that mental entities can downwardly cause physical entities in a non-overdetermining way—is the most plausible approach to solving the exclusion problem. The emergentist approach is largely absent in contemporary philosophy of mind, because emergentism rejects the Causal Closure of Physics, a doctrine embraced by almost all physicalists. This article, however, challenges the consensus on causal closure and defends a physicalist version of emergentism. (...)
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  28. Elimination, Not Reduction: Lessons From the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) and Multiple Realisation.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e22.
    The thesis of multiple realisation that Borsboom et al. are relying on should not be taken for granted. In dissolving the apparent multiple realisation, the reductionist research strategies in psychopathology research (the Research Domain Criteria [RDoC] framework, in particular) are bound to lead to eliminativism rather than reductionism. Therefore, Borsboom et al. seem to be aiming at a wrong target.
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  29. Causal Explanation in Psychiatry.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - In Şerife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  30. Consciousness and Meaning: Selected Essays by Brian Loar.Katalin Balog & Stephanie Beardman - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    One of the most important problems of twentieth century analytic philosophy concern the place of the mind – and in particular, of consciousness and intentionality – in a physical universe. Brian Loar’s essays in the philosophy of mind in this volume include his major contributions in this area. His central concern was how to understand consciousness and intentionality from the subjective perspective, and especially, how to understand subjectivity in a physical universe. He was committed to the reality and reliability of (...)
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  31. The Correlation Argument for Reductionism.Christopher Clarke - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):76-97.
    Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that (...)
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  32. ‘The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental’, by Kirk, Robert: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, Pp. Xii + 228, £35 (Hardback). [REVIEW]Andrew Melnyk - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):596-599.
    Review of Robert Kirk's The Conceptual Link From Physical To Mental (Oxford University Press, 2013).
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  33. Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
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  34. Explanatory Autonomy: The Role of Proportionality, Stability, and Conditional Irrelevance.James Woodward - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):1-29.
    This paper responds to recent criticisms of the idea that true causal claims, satisfying a minimal “interventionist” criterion for causation, can differ in the extent to which they satisfy other conditions—called stability and proportionality—that are relevant to their use in explanatory theorizing. It reformulates the notion of proportionality so as to avoid problems with previous formulations. It also introduces the notion of conditional independence or irrelevance, which I claim is central to understanding the respects and the extent to which upper (...)
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  35. In Defense of a Realization Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):483-493.
    In earlier work, I proposed and defended a formulation of physicalism that was distinctive in appealing to a carefully-defined relation of physical realization. Various philosophers (Robert Francescotti, Daniel Stoljar, Carl Gillett, and Susan Schneider) have since presented challenges to this formulation. In the present paper, I aim to show that these challenges can be overcome.
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  36. Physicalism, Truthmaking, and Levels of Reality: Prospects and Problems.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):473-482.
    This paper considers the extent to which the notion of truthmaking can play a substantive role in defining physicalism. While a truthmaking-based approach to physicalism is prima facie attractive, there is some reason to doubt that truthmaking can do much work when it comes to understanding physicalism, and perhaps austere metaphysical frameworks in general. First, despite promising to dispense with higher-level properties and states, truthmaking appears to make little progress on issues concerning higher-level items and how they are related to (...)
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  37. Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  38. Christian Physicalism?: Philosophical Theological Criticisms.R. Keith Loftin & Joshua R. Farris (eds.) - 2017 - Rowman & Littlefield.
    On the heels of the advance since the twentieth-century of wholly physicalist accounts of human persons, the influence of materialist ontology is increasingly evident in Christian theologizing. To date, the contemporary literature has tended to focus on anthropological issues (e.g., whether the traditional soul / body distinction is viable), with occasional articles treating physicalist accounts of such doctrines as the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus cropping up, as well. Interestingly, the literature to date, both for and against this influence, is (...)
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  39. The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland - 2018 - Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
  40. The Attending Mind.Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    Attention is essential to the life of the mind, a central topic in cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology. Traditional debates in philosophy stand to benefit from greater understanding of the phenomenon, whether on the nature of the self, the foundation of knowledge, the natural basis of consciousness, or the origins of action and responsibility. This book is at the crossroads of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, offering a new theoretical stance on the concept of attention and how it intersects (...)
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  41. Mental Causation and Intelligibility.David Robb - 2015 - Humana Mente 8 (29).
    I look at some central positions in the mental causation debate – reductionism, emergentism, and nonreductive physicalism – on the hypothesis that mental causation is intelligible. On this hypothesis, mental causes and their effects are internally related so that they intelligibly “fit”, analogous to the way puzzle pieces interlock, or shades of red fall into order within a color sphere. The assumption of intelligibility has what I take to be a welcome consequence: deciding among rivals in the mental causation debate (...)
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  42. Multiple Realization and Compositional Variation.Kevin Morris - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2593-2611.
    It has often been thought that compositional variation across systems that are similar from the point of view of the special sciences provides a key point in favor of the multiple realization of special science kinds and in turn the broadly nonreductive consequences often thought to follow from multiple realization. Yet in a series of articles, and culminating in The Multiple Realization Book, Tom Polger and Larry Shapiro argue that an account of multiple realization demanding enough to yield such nonreductive (...)
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  43. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  44. Flat Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):225-250.
    The main contention of this article is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to emergence. In this article, I devise an alternative perspective on ontological emergence called ‘flat emergence’, which is free of such a bias. The motivation is twofold: not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense (...)
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  45. Physicalism Deconstructed: Levels of Reality and the Mind–Body Problem.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    How should thought and consciousness be understood within a view of the world as being through-and-through physical? Many philosophers have proposed non-reductive, levels-based positions, according to which the physical domain is fundamental, while thought and consciousness are higher-level processes, dependent on and determined by physical processes. In this book, Kevin Morris's careful philosophical and historical critique shows that it is very difficult to make good metaphysical sense of this idea - notions like supervenience, physical realization, and grounding all fail to (...)
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  46. The Perils of Epistemic ReductionismTruth and Objectivity.Terence Horgan & Crispin Wright - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4):891.
  47. Emergence or Reduction?—Essays on the Prospects of Nonreductive Physicalism.Ralf Stoecker, Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):701.
    This book collects twelve original articles, arranged in three sections, plus an introduction.
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  48. Mental Causation Via Neuroprosthetics? A Critical Analysis.Tuomas Pernu - 2018 - Synthese (12):5159-5174.
    Some recent arguments defending the genuine causal efficacy of the mental have been relying on empirical research on neuroprosthetics. This essay presents a critical analysis of these arguments. The problem of mental causation, and the basic idea and results of neuroprosthetics are reviewed. It is shown how appealing to the research on neuroprosthetics can be interpreted to give support to the idea of mental causation. However, it does so only in a rather deflationary sense: by holding the mental identical with (...)
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  49. Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):852-883.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. In this paper, I propose a unified framework for modelling levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and show that it can accommodate descriptive, explanatory, and ontological notions of levels. I further illustrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some salient philosophical questions: (1) Is there a linear hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the bottom? And (...)
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