Synthese 177 (2):165 - 192 (2010)

Understanding the 'making-up' relations, to put things neutrally, posited in mechanistic explanations the sciences is finally an explicit topic of debate amongst philosophers of science. In particular, there is now lively debate over the nature of the so-called 'realization' relations between properties posited in such explanations. Despite criticism (Gillett, Analysis 62: 316-323, 2002a), the most common approach continues to be that of applying machinery developed in the philosophy of mind to scientific concepts in what is known as the 'Flat' or 'Subset' model of 'realization' (Kim, Mind in a physical world, 1998; Shapiro, J Philos XCVII: 635-654, 2000; Clapp, J Philos XCVIII: 111-136,2001 ; Wilson, Philos Stud 145: 149-169,2009). My primary goal in this paper is to show in still more detail that the Subset model of realization is inadequate for the descriptive task of describing the 'making-up' relations posited between properties or their instances in mechanistic explanations in the higher sciences. And my secondary goal is to highlight why this critique of the Subset view as a first-order descriptive account also shows there are deep difficulties in using the Subset account to address second-order issues in the philosophy of science as well.
Keywords Realization  Physicalism  Composition  Kim  Shoemaker
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9840-1
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References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.

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Citations of this work BETA

Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.

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