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  1. The Quantum Field Theory on Which the Everyday World Supervenes.Sean M. Carroll - manuscript
    Effective Field Theory (EFT) is the successful paradigm underlying modern theoretical physics, including the "Core Theory" of the Standard Model of particle physics plus Einstein's general relativity. I will argue that EFT grants us a unique insight: each EFT model comes with a built-in specification of its domain of applicability. Hence, once a model is tested within some domain (of energies and interaction strengths), we can be confident that it will continue to be accurate within that domain. Currently, the Core (...)
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  2. Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2017
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. This paper presents a framework for studying levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and discuss several applications, some of which refer to descriptive or explanatory levels while others refer to ontological levels. I illustrate the usefulness of this framework by bringing it to bear on some familiar philosophical questions. Is there a hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the (...)
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  3. Physicalism and Cosmic Hermeneutics: Comments on Horgan.Thomas W. Polger - manuscript
    It is commonly held that there are two obstacles to precisely formulating the doctrine of physicalism: Hempel’s Problem, and Hume’s Problem.2 Hempel’s Problem is that if physicalism is to be formulated in terms of physics—or in terms of any science, for the problem is fully general if it is a problem at all—whether to use the current or future science. If physicalism is formulated in terms of current physics, then it is most likely false because current physics is at least (...)
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  4. Kim�s Toppling House of Cards: An Argument Against the �Micro-Based Property� Solution.Lee-Anna Sangster - manuscript
    of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) In response to the “Causal Drainage” objection to his Supervenience Argument, Kim introduces micro-based properties and argues that their presence prohibits any causal drainage between metaphysical levels. Noordhof disagrees and instead argues that the causal powers of the �micro-bases� of micro-based properties seem to preempt the causal powers of micro-based properties, in much the same way as Kim claims the powers of subvening base properties preempt the powers of supervenient properties. Thus Noordhof argues (...)
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  5. Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler’s Perspective.Alexander Gebharter, Maria Sekatskaya & Gerhard Schurz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  6. Radical Interpretation and Decision Theory.Anandi Hattiangadi & H. Orri Stefánsson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    This paper takes issue with an influential interpretationist argument for physicalism about intentionality based on the possibility of radical interpretation. The interpretationist defends the physicalist thesis that the intentional truths supervene on the physical truths by arguing that it is possible for a radical interpreter, who knows all of the physical truths, to work out the intentional truths about what an arbitrary agent believes, desires, and means without recourse to any further empirical information. One of the most compelling arguments for (...)
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  7. 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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  8. Grounding Entails Supervenience.Samuele Chilovi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1317-1334.
    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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  9. The Josephson Junction.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
  10. Physicalism Without Supervenience.Lei Zhong - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1529-1544.
    It is widely accepted that supervenience is a minimal commitment of physicalism. In this article, however, I aim to argue that physicalism should be exempted from the supervenience requirement. My arguments rely on a parallel between ontological dependence and causal dependence. Since causal dependence does not require causal determination, ontological dependence should not require ontological determination either. Moreover, my approach has a significant theoretical advantage: if physicalism is not committed to supervenience, then the metaphysical possibility of zombies—which is still wide (...)
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  11. A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its be...
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  12. Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  13. Physicalism UnBlocked.D. Gene Witmer - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):890-904.
    What has become known as the blockers problem is an alleged difficulty facing attempts to formulate physicalism as a supervenience thesis. A blocker is an entity, itself contrary to physicalism, with the power to disrupt an otherwise necessary connection between physical and nonphysical conditions. I argue that there is no distinct blockers problem. Insofar as a problem can be identified, it turns out to be just a rather baroque version of a distinct and familiar objection to supervenience formulations and to (...)
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  14. Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Supervenience.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
    This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...)
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  19. The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland - 2018 - Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
  20. 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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  21. What's Wrong With Brute Supervenience? A Defense of Horgan on Physicalism and Superdupervenience.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):256-280.
    This paper offers a qualified defense of Terry Horgan’s view of brute, inexplicable supervenience theses as physically unacceptable—as having no place in physicalist metaphysics—and his corresponding emphasis on the importance of “superdupervenience”, metaphysical supervenience that can be explained in a “materialistically acceptable” way. I argue, in response to Tom Polger, that it may be possible to ground the physical unacceptability of brute supervenience in its relation physically unacceptable properties supervening on physical properties; moreover, I argue that Horgan’s emphasis on the (...)
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  22. An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
    The first part of this paper finds Craver’s (2007) mutual manipulability theory (MM) of constitution inadequate, as it definitionally ties constitution to the feasibility of idealized experiments, which, however, are unrealizable in principle. As an alternative, the second part develops an abductive theory of constitution (NDC), which exploits the fact that phenomena and their constituents are unbreakably coupled via common causes. The best explanation for this common-cause coupling is the existence of an additional dependence relation, viz. constitution. Apart from adequately (...)
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  23. Causal Exclusion Without Physical Completeness and No Overdetermination.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Abstracta 10:3-14.
    Hitchcock demonstrated that the validity of causal exclusion arguments as well as the plausibility of several of their premises hinges on the specific theory of causation endorsed. In this paper I show that the validity of causal exclusion arguments—if represented within the theory of causal Bayes nets the way Gebharter suggests—actually requires much weaker premises than the ones which are typically assumed. In particular, neither completeness of the physical domain nor the no overdetermination assumption are required.
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  24. Functionalism, Superduperfunctionalism, and Physicalism: Lessons From Supervenience.Ronald Endicott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2205-2235.
    Philosophers almost universally believe that concepts of supervenience fail to satisfy the standards for physicalism because they offer mere property correlations that are left unexplained. They are thus compatible with non-physicalist accounts of those relations. Moreover, many philosophers not only prefer some kind of functional-role theory as a physically acceptable account of mind-body and other inter-level relations, but they use it as a form of “superdupervenience” to explain supervenience in a physically acceptable way. But I reject a central part of (...)
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  25. An Objection to the Laplacean Chalmers.T. Parent - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):237-240.
    I discuss David Chalmers’ “scrutability thesis,” roughly that a Laplacean intellect could know every truth about the universe from a “compact class” of basic truths. It is argued that despite Chalmers’ remarks to the contrary, the thesis is problematic owing to quantum indeterminacy. Chalmers attempts to “frontload” various principles into the compact class to help out. But though frontloading may succeed in principle, Chalmers does not frontload enough to avoid the problem.
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  26. 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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  27. Without Hierarchy: The Scale Freedom of the Universe By Mariam Thalos.George Botterill - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):556-558.
  28. Grounding and Necessity.Stephan Leuenberger - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (2):151-174.
    The elucidations and regimentations of grounding offered in the literature standardly take it to be a necessary connection. In particular, authors often assert, or at least assume, that if some facts ground another fact, then the obtaining of the former necessitates the latter; and moreover, that grounding is an internal relation, in the sense of being necessitated by the existence of the relata. In this article, I challenge the necessitarian orthodoxy about grounding by offering two prima facie counterexamples. First, some (...)
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  29. Supervenience Physicalism, Emergentism, and the Polluted Supervenience Base.Kevin Morris - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):351-365.
    A prominent objection to supervenience physicalism is that a definition of physicalism in terms of supervenience allows for physicalism to be compatible with nonphysicalist outlooks, such as certain forms of emergentism. I take as my starting point a recent defense of supervenience physicalism from this objection. According to this line of thought, the subvenient base for emergent properties cannot be said to be purely physical; rather, it is “polluted” with emergent features in virtue of necessarily giving rise to them. Thus, (...)
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  30. Causal Closure, Causal Exclusion, and Supervenience Physicalism.Kevin Morris - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):72-86.
    This article considers the recent defense of the supervenience approach to physicalism due to Jaegwon Kim. Kim argues that supervenience supports physical causal closure, and that causal closure supports physicalism – indeed, a kind of reductive physicalism – and thus that supervenience suffices for physicalism. After laying out Kim's argument, I ask whether its success would truly vindicate the role of supervenience in defining physicalist positions. I argue that it would not, and that insofar as Kim's defense of supervenience physicalism (...)
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  31. Interventions on Causal Exclusion.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):255-263.
    Two strains of interventionist responses to the causal exclusion argument are reviewed and critically assessed. On the one hand, one can argue that manipulating supervenient mental states is an effective strategy for manipulating the subvenient physical states, and hence should count as genuine causes to the subvenient physical states. But unless the supervenient and subvenient states manifest some difference in their manipulability conditions, there is no reason to treat them as distinct, which in turn goes against the basic assumption of (...)
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  32. The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental by Robert Kirk. [REVIEW]D. Gene Witmer - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):552-556.
  33. Careful, Physicalists: Mind–Body Supervenience Can Be Too Superduper.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):8-21.
    It has become evident that mind–body supervenience, as merely specifying a covariance between mental and physical properties, is consistent with clearly non-physicalist views of the mental, such as emergentism. Consequently, there is a push in the physicalist camp for an ontologically more robust supervenience, a “superdupervenience,” that ensures that properties supervening on physical properties are physicalistically acceptable. Jessica Wilson claims that supervenience is made superduper by Condition on Causal Powers (CCP): each individual causal power associated with a supervenient property is (...)
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  34. Type Physicalism and Causal Exclusion.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:405-418.
    While concerns of the mental being causally excluded by the physical have persistently plagued non-reductive physicalism, such concerns are standardly taken to pose no problem for reductive type physicalism. Type physicalists have the obvious advantage of being able to countenance the reduction of mental properties to their physical base properties by way of type identity, thereby avoiding any causal competition between instances of mental properties and their physical bases. Here, I challenge this widely accepted advantage of type physicalism over non-reductive (...)
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  35. Review of "After Physicalism". [REVIEW]Robert Bishop - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (2):8.
    On the whole, the essays and arguments in *After Physicalism* assume that the mind-body problem is independent of the physical, biological and social history of human beings. If I am right in what I have argued about the objectification that runs throughout so much of this volume, such assumptions of independence are not only false, but impede our ability to understand the actual nature of mind in our world. Moreover, coming to an understanding of mind in our world is as (...)
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  36. How to Be a Type-C Physicalist.Adrian Boutel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):301-320.
    This paper advances a version of physicalism which reconciles the “a priori entailment thesis” (APET) with the analytic independence of our phenomenal and physical vocabularies. The APET is the claim that, if physicalism is true, the complete truths of physics imply every other truth a priori. If so, “cosmic hermeneutics” is possible: a demon having only complete knowledge of physics could deduce every truth about the world. Analytic independence is a popular physicalist explanation for the apparent “epistemic gaps” between phenomenal (...)
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  37. Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics, by D. M. Armstrong.H. Hochberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):245-249.
  38. Must Physicalism Imply the Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical?Barbara Montero - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (2):93-110.
  39. Physicalism and Moorean Supervenience.Thomas W. Polger - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):72-92.
    G. E. Moore argues that goodness is an intrinsic non-natural property that supervenes irreducibly on the intrinsic natural properties of its bearers. Accordingly, it is often supposed that “Moorean” supervenience is incompatible with physicalism, a naturalistic thesis. In this paper I argue that Moorean supervenience is not in itself incompatible with physicalism, Moore’s ethical non-naturalism notwithstanding. Understanding why will help us to better appreciate the full range of resources available to physicalists.
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  40. Without Hierarchy: The Scale Freedom of the Universe.Mariam Thalos - 2013 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    A venerable tradition in the metaphysics of science commends ontological reduction: the practice of analysis of theoretical entities into further and further proper parts, with the understanding that the original entity is nothing but the sum of these. This tradition implicitly subscribes to the principle that all the real action of the universe (also referred to as its "causation") happens at the smallest scales-at the scale of microphysics. A vast majority of metaphysicians and philosophers of science, covering a wide swath (...)
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  41. Relational Holism and Humean Supervenience.George Darby - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (4):773-788.
    It has been widely noted that Humean supervenience , according to which everything supervenes on intrinsic properties of point-sized things and the spatiotemporal relations between them, is at odds with the nonlocal character of quantum mechanics, according to which not everything supervenes on intrinsic properties of point-sized things and the spatiotemporal relations between them. In particular, a standard view is that the parts of a composite quantum system instantiate further relations which are not accounted for in Lewis's Humean mosaic. But (...)
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  42. Semantic Sovereignty.Stephen Kearns & Ofra Magidor - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):322-350.
  43. Kim's Supervenience Argument and the Nature of Total Realizers.Douglas Keaton - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):243-259.
    Abstract: I offer a novel objection to Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument. I argue that the Supervenience Argument relies upon an untenable conception of the base physical properties upon which mental properties are supposed to supervene: the base properties are required to be both ordinary physical/causal properties and also unconditionally sufficient for the properties that they subvene. But these requirements are mutually exclusive; as a result, at least two premises in the Supervenience Argument are false. I argue that this has disruptive (...)
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  44. Does the Supervenience Argument Generalize?Suzanne Bliss & Jordi Fernández - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):321-346.
    We evaluate the scope of Jaegwon Kim's “supervenience argument” for reduction. Does its conclusion apply only to psychology, or does it generalize to all the special sciences? The claim that the supervenience argument generalizes to all the special sciences if it goes through for psychology is often raised as an objection to the supervenience argument. We argue that this objection is ambiguous. We distinguish three readings of it and suggest that some of them make it a plausible claim, whereas other (...)
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  45. Supervenience and Reductive Physicalism.Erhan Demircioglu - 2011 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (1):25-35.
    Supervenience physicalism attempts to combine non-reductionism about properties with a physical determination thesis in such a way as to ensure physicalism. I argue that this attempt is unsuccessful: the specific supervenience relation in question is either strong enough to ensure reductionism, as in the case of strong supervenience, or too weak to yield physical determination, as in the case of global supervenience. The argument develops in three stages. First, I propose a distinction between two types of reductionism, definitional and scientific, (...)
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  46. Supervenience and Mind.Robert Francescotti - 2011 - In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  47. Rule-Following, Intentionality and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Antti Heikinheimo - 2011 - SATS 12 (1).
  48. Reductive Identities: An Empirical Fundamentalist Approach.Douglas Kutach - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):67-101.
    I sketch a philosophical program called ‘Empirical Fundamentalism,’ whose signature feature is the extensive use of a distinction between fundamental and derivative reality. Within the framework of Empirical Fundamentalism, derivative reality is treated as an abstraction from fundamental reality. I show how one can understand reduction and supervenience in terms of abstraction, and then I apply the introduced machinery to understand the relation between water and H2O, mental states and brain states, and so on. The conclusion is that such relations (...)
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  49. Supervenience and Neuroscience.Pete Mandik - 2011 - Synthese 180 (3):443 - 463.
    The philosophical technical term "supervenience" is frequently used in the philosophy of mind as a concise way of characterizing the core idea of physicalism in a manner that is neutral with respect to debates between reductive physicalists and nonreductive physicalists. I argue against this alleged neutrality and side with reductive physicalists. I am especially interested here in debates between psychoneural reductionists and nonreductive functionalist physicalists. Central to my arguments will be considerations concerning how best to articulate the spirit of the (...)
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  50. Guidelines for Theorizing About Realization.Kevin Morris - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (4):393-416.
    Realization can be roughly understood as a kind of role-playing, a relationship between a property that plays a role and a property characterized by that role. This rough sketch previously received only moderate elaboration; recently, however, several substantive theories of realization have been proposed. But are there any general constraints on a theory of realization? What is a theory of realization supposed to accomplish? I first argue that a view of realization is viable, in part, to the extent that physical (...)
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