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Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays

Cambridge University Press (1993)

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  1. The Role of Philosophy of Science in Responsible Research and Innovation : The Case of Nanomedicine.Gry Oftedal - 2014 - Life Sciences, Society and Policy 10 (1):1-12.
    Research on ethical, legal and social aspects of life sciences and new technologies has mainly been focused on impacts and consequences, while the emerging framework of Responsible Research and Innovation focuses rather on increased involvement and reflexivity in research processes to foster science and technology that better answers the needs of society. I argue that philosophy of science should be a central feature of RRI and demonstrate how the philosophy of science can contribute in this sense. I show how investigating (...)
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  • Emergence Without Levels.Luiz Henrique de Araújo Dutra - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (4):841-865.
    RESUMO Este artigo analisa a questão da causalidade descendente em relação a sistemas emergentes. A partir das considerações de Emmeche, Køppe e Stjernfelt, que são aqui criticadas, e em parte com base naquelas de Pattee, o artigo apresenta uma interpretação do tipo de relação que existe entre as condições de base de um evento e este último, e as relações entre a totalidade de um sistema e suas partes, empregando as noções de comunidade e de finalidade interna, noções essas devidas (...)
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  • Reductive Theories of Modality.Theodore Sider - 2003 - In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 180-208.
    Logic begins but does not end with the study of truth and falsity. Within truth there are the modes of truth, ways of being true: necessary truth and contingent truth. When a proposition is true, we may ask whether it could have been false. If so, then it is contingently true. If not, then it is necessarily true; it must be true; it could not have been false. Falsity has modes as well: a false proposition that could not have been (...)
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  • Tropeless in Seattle: The Cure for Insomnia.Douglas Ehring - 1999 - Analysis 59 (1):19-24.
  • A Defence of Papineau and Mental Causes.S. G. Daniel - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):139-145.
  • Supervenient Causation and Program Explanation: A Note on the Difference.P. Coppock - 1999 - Analysis 59 (4):346-354.
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  • On Good Advice: A Reply to McNaughton and Rawling.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):506-508.
  • The Supervenience of Truth: Freewill and Omniscience.Storrs McCall - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):501-506.
  • Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.
    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving multiple rock-throwers, and thus not problematic. This paper pushes back. I argue that attention to differences between types of overdetermination discharges very few explanatory burdens, and that overdetermination is a bigger problem for the nonreductive metaphysician than previously thought.
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  • On the Dispensability of Grounding: Ground-Breaking Work on Metaphysical Explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
    Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much the same (...)
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • The Downs and Ups of Mechanistic Research: Circadian Rhythm Research as an Exemplar. [REVIEW]William Bechtel - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):313 - 328.
    In the context of mechanistic explanation, reductionistic research pursues a decomposition of complex systems into their component parts and operations. Using research on the mechanisms responsible for circadian rhythms, I consider both the gains that have been made by discovering genes and proteins that figure in these intracellular oscillators and also highlight the increasingly recognized need to understand higher-level integration, both between cells in the central oscillator and between the central and peripheral oscillators. This history illustrates a common need to (...)
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  • An Integration of Motivation and Cognition.Mark H. Bickhard - 2003 - In L. Smith, C. Rogers & P. Tomlinson (eds.), Development and Motivation: Joint Perspectives. Leicester: British Psychological Society. pp. 41-56.
  • Special Sciences, Conspiracy and the Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):427 - 447.
    An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...)
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  • Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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  • Christian Philosophical Anthropology. A Reformation Perspective.Gerrit Glas - 2010 - Philosophia Reformata 75 (2):141.
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  • On Physicalism and Downward Causation in Developmental and Cancer Biology.A. M. Soto, C. Sonnenschein & P. A. Miquel - 2008 - Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4):257-274.
    The dominant position in Philosophy of Science contends that downward causation is an illusion. Instead, we argue that downward causation doesn’t introduce vicious circles either in physics or in biology. We also question the metaphysical claim that “physical facts fix all the facts.” Downward causation does not imply any contradiction if we reject the assumption of the completeness and the causal closure of the physical world that this assertion contains. We provide an argument for rejecting this assumption. Furthermore, this allows (...)
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  • Causal and Constitutive Explanation Compared.Petri Ylikoski - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-297.
    This article compares causal and constitutive explanation. While scientific inquiry usually addresses both causal and constitutive questions, making the distinction is crucial for a detailed understanding of scientific questions and their interrelations. These explanations have different kinds of explananda and they track different sorts of dependencies. Constitutive explanations do not address events or behaviors, but causal capacities. While there are some interesting relations between building and causal manipulation, causation and constitution are not to be confused. Constitution is a synchronous and (...)
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  • When is a Brain Like the Planet?Clark Glymour - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (3):330-347.
    Time series of macroscopic quantities that are aggregates of microscopic quantities, with unknown one‐many relations between macroscopic and microscopic states, are common in applied sciences, from economics to climate studies. When such time series of macroscopic quantities are claimed to be causal, the causal relations postulated are representable by a directed acyclic graph and associated probability distribution—sometimes called a dynamical Bayes net. Causal interpretations of such series imply claims that hypothetical manipulations of macroscopic variables have unambiguous effects on variables “downstream” (...)
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  • Multiple Realizability.Eric Funkhouser - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):303–315.
    b>: This article explains the concept of multiple realizability and its role in the philosophy of mind. In particular, I consider what is required for the multiple realizability of psychological kinds, the relevance of multiple realizability to the reducibility and autonomy of psychology, as well as further refinements of the concept that would prove helpful.
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  • The Delocalized Mind. Judgements, Vehicles, and Persons.Pierre Steiner - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (3):1-24.
    Drawing on various resources and requirements (as expressed by Dewey, Wittgenstein, Sellars, and Brandom), this paper proposes an externalist view of conceptual mental episodes that does not equate them, even partially, with vehicles of any sort, whether the vehicles be located in the environment or in the head. The social and pragmatic nature of the use of concepts and conceptual content makes it unnecessary and indeed impossible to locate the entities that realize conceptual mental episodes in non-personal or subpersonal contentful (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws and the Human Sciences.Rui Silva - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (34):851-867.
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  • Mental Causation in a Physical World.Eric Marcus - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.
    Abstract: It is generally accepted that the most serious threat to the possibility of mental causation is posed by the causal self-sufficiency of physical causal processes. I argue, however, that this feature of the world, which I articulate in principle I call Completeness, in fact poses no genuine threat to mental causation. Some find Completeness threatening to mental causation because they confuse it with a stronger principle, which I call Closure. Others do not simply conflate Completeness and Closure, but (...)
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  • Social Constructionism as Cognitive Science.Thomas E. Dickins - 2004 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 34 (4):333–352.
    Social constructionism is a broad position that emphasizes the importance of human social processes in psychology. These processes are generally associated with language and the ability to construct stories that conform to the emergent rules of "language games". This view allows one to espouse a variety of critical postures with regard to realist commitments within the social and behavioural sciences, ranging from outright relativism to a more moderate respect for the "barrier" that linguistic descriptions can place between us and reality. (...)
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  • Global Supervenience and Dependence.Karen Bennett - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):501-529.
    Two versions of global supervenience have recently been distinguished from each other. I introduce a third version, which is more likely what people had in mind all along. However, I argue that one of the three versions is equivalent to strong supervenience in every sense that matters, and that neither of the other two versions counts as a genuine determination relation. I conclude that global supervenience has little metaphysically distinctive value.
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  • What’s So Bad About Overdetermination? [REVIEW]Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):719 - 726.
    The intimate relationship between X and Y consists in the existence of (metaphysically) necessary truths correlating their occurrences/existences/instantiations. E would be in some sense “overdetermined” if caused by both X and Y.2 Some philosophers say this would be bad, that this cannot or does not happen, that we should construct theories ruling it out, at least in certain cases.3 But why? Given the necessary truths correlating objects and their parts, objects and events concerning those objects, physical and supervenient mental properties, (...)
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  • Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It.Karen Bennett - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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  • Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology.Huib L. de Jong - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.
    Until recently, the notions of function and multiple realization were supposed to save the autonomy of psychological explanations. Furthermore, the concept of supervenience presumably allows both dependence of mind on brain and non-reducibility of mind to brain, reconciling materialism with an independent explanatory role for mental and functional concepts and explanations. Eliminativism is often seen as the main or only alternative to such autonomy. It gladly accepts abandoning or thoroughly reconstructing the psychological level, and considers reduction if successful as equivalent (...)
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  • Physicalism, Supervenience, and Dependence: A Reply to Botterell.Neil Campbell - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (1):163-167.
    Andrew Botterell has offered a fine response to my article, "Supervenience and Psycho-Physical Dependence". In my original article, I argued that Donald Davidson's brand of supervenience should be understood as a relation between predicates rather than properties, that this formulation captures a form of psycho-physical dependence that eludes other forms of supervenience, and that, as such, it might be useful to revisit Davidsonian supervenience as a means of expressing a plausible form of physicalism. Botterell's reply centres on offering support for (...)
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  • Explanatory Pluralism in Paleobiology.Todd A. Grantham - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):236.
    This paper is a defense of "explanatory pluralism" (i.e., the view that some events can be correctly explained in two distinct ways). To defend pluralism, I identify two distinct (but compatible) styles of explanation in paleobiology. The first approach ("actual sequence explanation") traces out the particular forces that affect each species. The second approach treats the trend as "passive" or "random" diffusion away from a boundary in morphological space. I argue that while these strategies are distinct, some trends are correctly (...)
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  • In Defense of Epiphenomenalism.Jack C. Lyons - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):76-794.
    Recent worries about possible epiphenomenalist consequences of nonreductive materialism are misplaced, not, as many have argued, because nonreductive materialism does not have epiphenomenalist implications but because the epiphenomenalist implications are actually virtues of the theory, rather than vices. It is only by showing how certain kinds of mental properties are causally impotent that cognitive scientific explanations of mentality as we know them are possible.
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  • Is It All Really Biological?Raymond M. Bergner - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):30-49.
    The hypothesis that our current psychological forms of description and explanation will one day be replaced by biological ones, while not universally held, is wide-spread and highly influential in both the scientific community and the broader culture. The purpose of this paper is to examine this hypothesis. It will be argued that, while biology has had and will undoubtedly continue to have many extremely valuable and illuminating findings, it cannot and will not replace psychological explanations and concepts in our understanding, (...)
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  • The Normative Force of Reasoning.Ralph Wedgwood - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):660–686.
    What exactly is reasoning? Like many other philosophers, I shall endorse a broadly causal conception of reasoning. Reasoning is a causal process, in which one mental event (say, one’s accepting the conclusion of a certain argument) is caused by an antecedent mental event (say, one’s considering the premises of the argument). Just like causal accounts of action and causal accounts of perception, causal accounts of reasoning have to confront a version of what has come to be known as the problem (...)
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  • A função adaptativa da transmissão cultural.Lorenzo Baravalle - 2012 - Scientiae Studia 10 (2):269-295.
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  • Haecceitism, Chance, and Counterfactuals.B. Kment - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (4):573-609.
    Antihaecceitists believe that all facts about specific individuals—such as the fact that Fred exists, or that Katie is tall—globally supervene on purely qualitative facts. Haecceitists deny that. The issue is not only of interest in itself, but receives additional importance from its intimate connection to the question of whether all fundamental facts are qualitative or whether they include facts about which specific individuals there are and how qualitative properties and relations are distributed over them. Those who think that all fundamental (...)
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  • The Role of Dispositions in Explanations.Agustín Vicente - 2004 - Theoria 19 (3):301-310.
    According to a model defended by some authors, dispositional predicates, or concepts, can be legitimately used in causal explanations, but such a use is not necessary. For every explanation couched in dispositional terms, there is always a better, and complete, explanation that makes use of a different vocabulary, that of categorial bases. In what follows, I will develop this view, and then argue that there is a kind of use of dispositions in explanations that does not fall within this model. (...)
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  • On the Phenomenon of “Dog- Wise Arrangement”.Crawford L. Elder - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):132–155.
    An influential line of thought in metaphysics holds that where common sense discerns a tree or a dog or a baseball there may be just many microparticles. Provided the microparticles are arranged in the right way -- are “treewise” or “dogwise” or “baseballwise” arranged -- our sensory experiences will be just the same as if a tree or dog or baseball were really there. Therefore whether there really are suchfamiliar objects in the world can be decided only by determining what (...)
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  • What the Deflationist May Say About Truthmaking.Matthew McGrath - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):666–688.
    The correspondence theory of truth is often thought to be supported by the intuition that if a proposition (sentence, belief) is true, then something makes it true. I argue that this appearance is illusory and is sustained only by a conflation of two distinct notions of truthmaking, existential and non-existential. Once the conflation is exposed, I maintain, deflationism is seen to be adequate for accommodating truthmaking intuitions.
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  • Mind in a Physical World? [REVIEW]Marcelo Sabatés - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):663–670.
    Since the late 1980’s Kim has presented some major reasons to abandon SC. In MIAPW at least four of these reasons are offered: under SC we lose mental causation, mental realism and psychological explanations. Moreover, supervenience cannot do the job as the cementing relation in SC.
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  • Sobre la Inconsistencia Teórica Del Positivismo Incluyente1.Claudina Orunesu - 2007 - Análisis Filosófico 27 (1):23-46.
    El profesor Juan Carlos Bayón ha sostenido que el positivismo incluyente resultaría inaceptable por apoyarse en la idea de una convención social de seguir criterios no convencionales: si hubiera acuerdo sobre el contenido de esos criterios, ellos resultarían convencionales, y sin acuerdo, no habría práctica social convergente y, por ende, no habría en realidad una regla convencional. Así, el positivismo incluyente quedaría enfrentado a un dilema: o bien resulta indistinguible del positivismo excluyente, o bien no es una postura convencionalista en (...)
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  • Intralevel Mental Causation.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (3):402-425.
    This paper identifies and critiques a theory of mental causation defended by some proponents of nonredutive physicalism that I call “intralevelism.” Intralevelist theories differ in their details. On all versions, the causal outcome of the manifestation of physical properties is physical and the causal outcome of the manifestation of mental properties is mental. Thus, mental causation on this view is intralevel mental to mental causation. This characterization of mental causation as intralevel is taken to insulate nonreductive physicalism from some objections (...)
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  • How Does Downward Causation Exist?—A Comment on Kim’s Elimination of Downward Causation.Xiaoping Chen - 2010 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (4):652-665.
    The importance of downward causation lies in showing that it shows that functional properties such as mental properties are real, although they cannot be reduced to physical properties. Kim rejects nonreductive physicalism, which includes leading functionalism, by eliminating downward causation, and thereby returns to reductionism. In this paper, I make a distinction between two aspects of function—functional meaning and functional structure and argue that functional meaning cannot be reduced to the physical level whereas functional structure can. On this basis, I (...)
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  • Color Realism Revisited.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):791-793.
    Our reply is in four parts. The first part, R1, addresses objections to our claim that there might be “unknowable” color facts. The second part, R2, discusses the use we make of opponent process theory. The third part, R3, examines the question of whether colors are causes. The fourth part, R4, takes up some issues concerning the content of visual experience.
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  • The Failure of the Best Arguments Against Social Reduction.Todd Jones - 2003 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):547-581.
    In this paper, I will argue that the most systematic arguments for the impossibility of reducing of social facts are not, in fact, good arguments. The best of these, the multiple realizability argument, has been very successful in convincing people to be non-reductionists in the philosophy of mind, and can plausibly be adapted to argue for anti-reductionism in the social sciences. But it, like the other arguments for the impossibility of social reduction, cannot deliver. Any preference we have for social (...)
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  • Does the Argument From Realization Generalize? Responses to Kim.Carl Gillett & Bradley Rives - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):79-98.
    By quantifying over properties we cannot create new properties any more than by quantifying over individuals we can create new individuals. Someone murdered Jones, and the murderer is either Smith or Jones or Wang. That “someone”, who murdered Jones, is not a person in addition to Smith, Jones, and Wang, and it would be absurd to posit a disjunctive person, Smith-or-Jones-or-Wang, with whom to identify the murderer. The same goes for second-order properties and their realizers. (Kim (1997a), p.201).
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  • A “No Causal Rivalry” Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation.Anthony Dardis - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (1):69-77.
    Stephen Yablo has recently argued for a novel solution to the mental causation problem: the mental is related to the physical as determinables are related to determinates; determinables are not causal rivals with their determinates; so the mental and the physical are not causal rivals. Despite its attractions the suggestion seems hard to accept. In this paper I develop the idea that mental properties and physical properties are not causal rivals. Start with property dualism, supervenience, multiple realizability, and the claim (...)
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  • Should Intentionality Be Naturalized?Thomas Bontly - 2001 - In D. Walsh (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 43-60.
    One goal of recent philosophy of mind has been to ‘naturalize’ intentionality by showing how a purely physical system could have states that represent or are about items in the world. The project is reductionist in spirit, the aim being to explain intentional relations—to say what they really are—and to do so in terms that do not themselves utilize intentional or semantic concepts. In this vein there are attempts to explain intentional relations in terms of causal relations, informational relations, teleological (...)
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  • Excluding Exclusion: The Natural(Istic) Dualist Approach.István Aranyosi - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):67-78.
    The exclusion problem for mental causation is one of the most discussed puzzles in the mind-body literature. There has been a general agreement among philosophers, especially because most of them are committed to some form of physicalism, that the dualist cannot escape the exclusion problem. I argue that a proper understanding of dualism --its form, commitments, and intuitions?makes the exclusion problem irrelevant from a dualist perspective. The paper proposes a dualist approach, based on a theory of event causation, according to (...)
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  • Collective Obligations: Their Existence, Their Explanatory Power, and Their Supervenience on the Obligations of Individuals.Bill Wringe - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):472-497.
    In this paper I discuss a number of different relationships between two kinds of obligation: those which have individuals as their subject, and those which have groups of individuals as their subject. I use the name collective obligations to refer to obligations of the second sort. I argue that there are collective obligations, in this sense; that such obligations can give rise to and explain obligations which fall on individuals; that because of these facts collective obligations are not simply reducible (...)
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  • Naturalizing Idealizations: Pragmatism and the Interpretivist Strategy.Bjørn Ramberg - 2004 - Contemporary Pragmatism 1 (2):1-63.
    Following Quine, Davidson, and Dennett, I take mental states and linguistic meaning to be individuated with reference to interpretation. The regulative principle of ideal interpretation is to maximize rationality, and this accounts for the distinctiveness and autonomy of the vocabulary of agency. This rationality-maxim can accommodate empirical cognitive-psychological investigation into the nature and limitations of human mental processing. Interpretivism is explicitly anti-reductionist, but in the context of Rorty's neo-pragmatism provides a naturalized view of agents. The interpretivist strategy affords a less (...)
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