Supervenience and Physicalism

Edited by Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto, St. George Campus, University of Toronto at Scarborough)
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  1. added 2018-11-21
    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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  2. added 2018-10-19
    Die Architektur der Synthese. Entstehung und Philosophie der modernen Evolutionstheorie.Marcel Weber - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Konstanz
    This Ph.D. thesis provides a pilosophical account of the structure of the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 40s. The first, more historical part analyses how classical genetics came to be integrated into evolutionary thinking, highlighting in particular the importance of chromosomal mapping of Drosophila strains collected in the wild by Dobzansky, but also the work of Goldschmidt, Sumners, Timofeeff-Ressovsky and others. The second, more philosophical part attempts to answer the question wherein the unity of the synthesis consisted. I argue (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-06
    The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland - 2018 - Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
  4. added 2018-06-26
    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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  5. added 2018-05-30
    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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  6. added 2018-03-02
    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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  7. added 2018-02-17
    Functionalism, Superduperfunctionalism, and Physicalism: Lessons From Supervenience.Ronald P. 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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  8. added 2018-02-17
    The Non-Reductionist's Troubles with Supervenience.Robert Francescotti - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):105-124.
    I argue that there is a tension between three popular views in the philosophy of mind: (1) mental properties are not identical with physical properties (a version of nonreductionism), but (2) mental properties are had solely by virtue of physical properties (physicalism regarding the mind), which requires that (3) mental properties supervene on physical properties. To earn the title "physicalist," one must hold a sufficiently strong version of the supervenience thesis. But this, I argue, will be a version that undermines (...)
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  9. added 2018-02-06
    Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2016 - Noûs.
    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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  10. added 2018-01-25
    Supervenience? No Chance! Reply to Menuge.D. H. Mellor - 1993 - Analysis 53 (4):236-239.
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  11. added 2018-01-25
    Physicalism and Global Supervenience.Paul K. Moser - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):71-82.
    This paper examines a nonreductive supervenience relation central to a philosophically popular version of nonreductive physicalism inspired by Donald Davidson. The paper argues that this global supervenience relation faces a serious epistemological problem that blocks its being superior to weaker, less general supervenience relations.
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  12. added 2017-09-15
    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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  13. added 2017-08-14
    Supervenience and Mind.Robert Francescotti - 2011 - In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  14. added 2017-08-14
    Pragmatism, Relativism, and the Critique of Philosophy.Paul D. Forster - 1998 - Metaphilosophy 29 (1&2):58-78.
  15. added 2017-08-14
    Supervenient Difficulties with Nonreductive Physicalism: A Critical Analysis of Supervenience Physicalism.Ten G. Elshof - 1997 - Kinesis 24 (1):3-22.
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  16. added 2017-06-29
    Relational Holism and Humean Supervenience.G. 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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  17. added 2017-06-29
    Lewis's Worldmate Relation and the Apparent Failure of Humean Supervenience.George Darby - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):195-204.
    This paper considers two aspects of Lewis 's metaphysics to which spatiotemporal relations appear central, with the aim of showing them to be less so. First, Lewis reluctantly characterises what it is for two things to be part of the same possible world in terms of an analogically spatiotemporal category of relations, rather than a wider natural external category. But Lewis 's reason for restricting himself to the narrower category is unpersuasive. Second, Humean supervenience is formulated with spatiotemporal relations at (...)
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  18. added 2017-06-29
    Superveniencia, propiedades maximales y teoría de modelos (Supervenience, Maximal Properties, and Model Theory).Xabier de Donato Rodríguez & Marek Polanski - 2006 - Theoria 21 (3):257-276.
    En el presente artículo, se examinan y discuten dos argumentos con consecuencias reduccionistas debidos a Jaegwon Kim y a Theodore Sider respectivamente. De acuerdo con el argumento de Kim, la superveniencia fuerte implicaría la coexistencia necesaria de propiedades (es decir, tal y como normalmente se interpreta, la reducción). De acuerdo con el de Sider, ocurriría lo mismo con la superveniencia global. Uno y otro hacen un uso esencial de sendas nociones de propiedad maximal, las cuales son discutidas aquí a la (...)
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  19. added 2017-06-21
    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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  20. added 2017-04-21
    Physicalism, Supervenience and the Fundamental Level.Robin Brown & James Ladyman - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):20-38.
    We provide a formulation of physicalism, and show that this is to be favoured over alternative formulations. Much of the literature on physicalism assumes without argument that there is a fundamental level to reality, and we show that a consideration of the levels problem and its implications for physicalism tells in favour of the form of physicalism proposed here. Its hey elements are, fast, that the empirical and substantive part of physicalism amounts to a prediction that physics will not posit (...)
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  21. added 2017-04-21
    On Difficulties Facing the Formulation of the Doctrine of Supervenience.Robin Brown - 2009 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):191-200.
    The introductory section discusses supervenience and the role it plays in formulating contemporary physicalism. The section concludes with the definition of local supervenience used by Kim in the causal-exclusion argument. The second section outlines an abstract model for the analysis of supervenience, associating total mental states with total states of the nervous system. It is argued that Kim’s formulation confuses two orders of necessity: a metaphysical necessity attaching to the supervenience of the total mental state, and a nomological necessity attaching (...)
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  22. added 2017-04-21
    Reduction, Supervenience, and Physical Emergence.John Collier - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):629-630.
    After distinguishing reductive explanability in principle from ontological deflation, I give a case of an obviously physical property that is reductively inexplicable in principle. I argue that biological systems often have this character, and that, if we make certain assumptions about the cohesion and dynamics of the mind and its physical substrate, then it is emergent according to Broad's criteria.
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  23. added 2017-04-21
    Supervenience and Psycho-Physical Dependence.Neil Campbell - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (2):303-.
  24. added 2017-04-21
    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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  25. added 2017-04-21
    Supervenience and Reduction in Biological Hierarchies.John Collier - 1988 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 14:209.
  26. added 2017-04-10
    Jaegwon Kim, "Supervenience and Mind". [REVIEW]José Luis Bermúdez - 1995 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 3 (2):366.
  27. added 2017-03-27
    Ontology, Causality and Mind: Essays in Honour of D M Armstrong.John Bacon, Keith Campbell & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.) - 1993 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    D. M. Armstrong is an eminent Australian philosopher whose work over many years has dealt with such subjects as: the nature of possibility, concepts of the particular and the general, causes and laws of nature, and the nature of human consciousness. This collection of essays explores the many facets of Armstrong's work, concentrating on his more recent interests. There are four sections to the book: possibility and identity, universals, laws and causality, and philosophy of mind. The contributors comprise an international (...)
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  28. added 2017-03-27
    Supervenience, Emergence, and Reduction.Ansgar Beckermann - 1992 - In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter. pp. 94--118.
  29. added 2017-03-27
    Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism.Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - De Gruyter.
  30. added 2017-03-19
    Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics, by D. M. Armstrong.H. Hochberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):245-249.
  31. added 2017-03-19
    Themes in My Philosophical Work.Terence E. Horgan - 2002 - In Johannes L. Brandl (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of Terence Horgan. Atlanta: Rodopi. pp. 1-26.
    I invoked the notion of supervenience in my doctoral disseration, Microreduction and the Mind-Body Problem, completed at the University of Michigan in 1974 under the direction of Jaegwon Kim. I had been struck by the appeal to supervenience in Hare (1952), a classic work in twentieth century metaethics that I studied at Michigan in a course on metaethics taught by William Frankena; and I also had been struck by the brief appeal to supervenience in Davidson (1970). Kim was already, in (...)
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  32. added 2017-02-13
    Higher-Level Descriptions: Why Should We Preserve Them.Charbel Nino El-Hani & Antonio Marcos Pereira - 2000 - In P. B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N. O. Finnemann & P. V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. University of Aarhus Press.
  33. added 2017-02-12
    Without Hierarchy: The Scale Freedom of the Universe By Mariam Thalos.George Botterill - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):556-558.
  34. added 2017-01-12
    Sense and Supervenience.John F. Post - 2001 - Philo 4 (2):123-137.
    Alleged counter-examples based on conceptual thought experiments, including those involving sense or content, have no force against physicalist supervenience theses properly construed. This is largely because of their epistemological status and their modal status. Still, there are empirical examples that do contradict Kim-style theses, due to the latter’s individualism. By contrast, non-individualist supervenience, such as “global” supervenience, remains unscathed, a possibility overlooked by Lynne Baker, as is dear from a physicalist account of sense in the case of non-human biological adaptations (...)
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  35. added 2016-12-12
    What Kind of Modality Does the Materialist Need for His Supervenience Claim?Wachter Daniel von - 2009 - In Batthyany & A. A. Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious: Selected Papers on Consciousness. Universitã¤Tsverlag C. Winter. pp. 15-32.
    Materialists who do not deny the existence of mental phenomena usually claim that the mental supervenes on the physical, i.e. that there cannot be a change in the mental life of a man without there being a change in the man's body. This modal claim is usually understood in terms of logical necessity. I argue that this is a mistake, resulting from assumptions inherited from logical empiricism, and that it should be understood in terms of synthetic necessity.
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  36. added 2016-12-12
    Supervenience: New Essays.Elias E. Savellos & Umit D. Yalcin (eds.) - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    Supervenience is one of the 'hot discoveries' of analytic philosophy, and this collection of essays on the topic represents an examination of it and its application to major areas of philosophy. The interest in supervenience has much to do with the flexibility of the concept. To say that x supervenes on y indicates a degree of dependence without committing one to the view that x can be reduced to y. Thus supervenience is a relationship that has the potential of replacing (...)
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  37. added 2016-12-08
    Supervenience and Materialism.Christopher S. Hill & Mark Rowlands - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (1):115.
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  38. added 2016-12-08
    Reduction, Explanation, and Realism.K. Lennon & D. Charles (eds.) - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
    Reduction has long been a favourite method of analysis in all areas of philosophy, but in recent years there has been a reaction against it. The contributors to this volume examine the motivations for such anti-reductionist views and assess their coherence and success in a number of fields.
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  39. added 2016-10-27
    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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  40. added 2016-10-09
    Physicalism and Moorean Supervenience.Tom 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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  41. added 2016-08-17
    Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - manuscript
    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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  42. added 2016-06-24
    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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  43. added 2016-06-20
    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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  44. added 2015-08-29
    One World and the Many Sciences: A Defence of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 1991 - Dissertation, Oxford University
    The subject of this thesis is physicalism, understood not as some particular doctrine pertaining narrowly to the philosophy of mind, but rather as a quite general metaphysical claim to the effect that everything is, or is fundamentally, physical. Thus physicalism explicates the thought that in some sense physics is the basic science. The aim of the thesis is to defend a particular brand of physicalism, which I call eliminative type physicalism. It claims, roughly, that every property is a physical property, (...)
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  45. added 2015-03-26
    Supervenience Redux.John Heil - 1995 - In Elias E. Savellos & U. Yalcin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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  46. added 2015-03-26
    From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World.Terence E. Horgan - 1993 - Mind 102 (408):555-86.
  47. added 2015-03-17
    Supervenience is a Two-Way Street.R. B. Miller - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (12):695-701.
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  48. added 2015-02-19
    “Causation” is Only Part of the Answer.Matthias Scheutz - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):634-635.
    Although Ross & Spurrett (R&S) successfully fend off the threat of Kim's “supervenience argument” by showing that it conflates different notions of causation, their proposal for a dynamic systems answer to the mind-body problem is itself yet another supervenience claim in need of an explanation that justifies it. The same goes for their notion of “multiple supervenience.”.
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  49. added 2015-01-15
    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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  50. added 2015-01-15
    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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