Philosophical Studies 163 (1):197-211 (2013)

Kevin Morris
Tulane University
A physicalist holds, in part, that what properties are instantiated depends on what physical properties are instantiated; a physicalist thinks that mental properties, for example, are instantiated in virtue of the instantiation of physical “realizer” properties. One issue that arises in this context concerns the relationship between the “causal powers” of instances of physical properties and instances of dependent properties, properties that are instantiated in virtue of the instantiation of physical properties. After explaining the significance of this issue, I evaluate two core lines of thought that have been advanced in favor of Subset Inheritance, the view that instances of dependent properties typically have some, but not all, of the powers of physical realizers, and do not have any powers that are not also powers of physical realizers. The first argument that I address turns on our intuitive reactions to certain cases; the second appeals to the phenomenon of multiple realization. I argue that neither line of thought succeeds, and thus that insofar as we grant that an instance of a dependent property inherits some of the powers of its physical realizer, defenders of subset inheritance have not provided a compelling reason to think that it will not inherit all of the powers of its physical realizer
Keywords Physicalism  Causal powers  Causation  Realization  Nonreductive physicalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9807-1
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,920
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Physical Realization.Sydney Shoemaker - 2007 - Oxford University Press UK.
Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 1980 - In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause. D. Reidel. pp. 109-35.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Metaphysical Emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
Rejecting Epiphobia.Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):310-331.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Subset Realization and Physical Identification.Kevin Morris - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):317-335.
Subset Realization, Parthood, and Causal Overdetermination.Kevin Morris - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):363-379.
Properties, Powers, and the Subset Account of Realization.Paul Audi - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):654-674.
Emergence and Causal Powers.Graham Macdonald - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):239 - 253.
The Properties of Mental Causation.David Robb - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):178-94.
Non-Reductive Realization and the Powers-Based Subset Strategy.Jessica M. Wilson - 2011 - The Monist (Issue on Powers) 94 (1):121-154.
The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia McDonald & Graham McDonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-129.
Questioning the Causal Inheritance Principle.Ivar Hannikainen - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (3):261-277.
Mind-Body Causation and Explanatory Practice.Tyler Burge - 1993 - In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.
Enabling Relations As a Way to Transfer Causal Sufficiency.Manuel Liz Gutiérrez - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:87-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
106 ( #98,606 of 2,439,153 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #136,837 of 2,439,153 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes