Multiple realizability and universality

Authors
Robert W. Batterman
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
This paper concerns what Jerry Fodor calls a 'metaphysical mystery': How can there by macroregularities that are realized by wildly heterogeneous lower level mechanisms? But the answer to this question is not as mysterious as many, including Jaegwon Kim, Ned Block, and Jerry Fodor might think. The multiple realizability of the properties of the special sciences such as psychology is best understood as a kind of universality, where 'universality' is used in the technical sense one finds in the physics literature. It is argued that the same explanatory strategy used by physicists to provide understanding of universal behavior in physics can be used to explain how special science properties can be heterogeneously multiply realized.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/51.1.115
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On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science.Robert Batterman - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):1-25.
Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
Minimal Models and the Generalized Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Mark Povich - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):117-137.

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