Do object-dependent properties threaten physicalism?

Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):610-614 (2010)
Thomas Hofweber argues that the thesis of direct reference is incompatible with physicalism, the claim that the nonphysical supervenes on the physical. According to Hofweber, direct reference implies that some physical objects have object-dependent properties, such as being Jones’s brother, which depend on particular objects for their existence and identity. Hofweber contends that if some physical objects have object-dependent properties, then Local-Local Supervenience (the physicalist doctrine on which he concentrates) fails. In this note, we argue that Hofweber has failed to show that the possession by physical objects of object-dependent properties implies the falsity of Local-Local Supervenience.
Keywords physicalism  direct reference  object-dependent properties
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DOI 10.5840/jphil20101071141
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