Relational Holism and Humean Supervenience

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 that suggests a simple solution: Why couldn't Lewis simply add these new relations to the supervenience basis? The aim of this article is to use Humean supervenience as a foil to spell out a feature of entanglement of general metaphysical interest: The way in which the metaphysical lessons drawn for two-party systems ramify when systems of many parties are considered. The main conclusion is that the proposed simple fix in fact results in a supervenience thesis different in kind from Lewis's, by making the relations in the supervenience basis global in a certain sense
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr049
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Quantum Entanglement and a Metaphysics of Relations.Michael Esfeld - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):601-617.
Humean Supervenience.Barry Loewer - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (1):101-127.
Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.

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Citations of this work BETA

Quantum Humeanism, Or: Physicalism Without Properties.M. Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.
Quantum Monism: An Assessment.Claudio Calosi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.

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