Pereboom's Robust Non-reductive Physicalism

Erkenntnis 79 (5):1191-1207 (2014)
Andrew Melnyk
University of Missouri, Columbia
Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it appeals to two relations that are physicalistically unacceptable; and it rules out certain epistemically possible ways that the world might turn out to be according to current physics. This paper further argues that the difficulties faced by Pereboom’s robust non-reductive physicalism can all be avoided if physicalism is instead formulated by appeal to a carefully-defined relation of realization
Keywords Materialism  Physicalism  Constitution  Realization  Supervenience  Pereboom
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9592-7
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Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.

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