Physicalism, supervenience, and dependence: A reply to Campbell

Dialogue 41 (1):155-161 (2002)
Andrew Botterell
Western University
Neil Campbell has argued that certain problems with the doctrine of psycho-physical supervenience can be overcome if supervenience is viewed as a relation between predicates rather than as a relation between properties. Campbell suggests that, when properly understood, this predicate version of supervenience "expresses a form of psycho-physical dependence that might be useful to those who wish to argue for a supervenience-based physicalism”. In this note I indicate why I think we ought to resist this suggestion. First, I argue quite generally that any appeal to a distinction between predicates and properties is irrelevant to issues concerning physicalism and supervenience. And, second, I argue that Campbell's own predicate version of supervenience fails to capture a notion of dependence that physicalists are likely to find useful. I conclude that viewing supervenience as a relation between predicates does not help in articulating a more plausible version of physicalism.
Keywords Dependence  Metaphysics  Physicalism  Supervenience  Campbell, N
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ISBN(s) 0012-2173
DOI 10.1017/S0012217300013640
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References found in this work BETA

Concepts of Supervenience.Jaegwon Kim - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):153-76.
Psychologism and Behaviorism.Ned Block - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (1):5-43.
Replies to Essays X-XI.Donald Davidson - 1985 - In Bruce Vermazen & Merrill B. Hintikka (eds.), Essays on Davidson: Actions and Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 242--252.

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