The limitations of Kim's reductive physicalism in accounting for living systems and an alternative nonreductionist ontology
Acta Biotheoretica 55 (3):243-267 (2007)
Jaegwon Kim’s exclusion argument is a general ontological argument, applicable to any properties deemed supervenient on a microproperty basis, including biological properties. It implies that the causal power of any higher-level property must be reducible to the subset of the causal powers of its lower-level properties. Moreover, as Kim’s recent version of the argument indicates, a higher-level property can be causally efficient only to the extent of the efficiency of its micro-basis. In response, I argue that the ontology that aims to capture experimentally based explanations of metabolic control systems and morphogenetic systems must involve causally relevant contextual properties. Such an ontology challenges the exclusiveness of micro-based causal efficiency that grounds Kim’s reductionism, since configurations themselves are inherently causally efficient constituents. I anticipate and respond to the reductionist’s objection that the nonreductionist ontology’s account of causes and inter-level causal relations is incoherent. I also argue that such an ontology is not open to Kim’s overdetermination objection.
|Keywords||reduction emergence biology causation downward causation Jaegwon Kim|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Emergence and Its Place in Nature: A Case Study of Biochemical Networks.F. C. Boogerd, F. J. Bruggeman, Robert C. Richardson, Achim Stephan & H. Westerhoff - 2005 - Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164.
The Functional Perspective of Organismal Biology.Arno Wouters - 2005 - In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer. pp. 33--69.
Unity of Physical Laws and Levels of Description.Ilya Prigogine - 1971 - In Marjorie Glicksman Grene & I. Prigogine (eds.), Interpretations of Life and Mind. New York: Humanities Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
A Nonreductionist's Solution to Kim's Explanatory Exclusion Problem.JeeLoo Liu - 2001 - Manuscrito 24 (1):7-47.
Lessons From Causal Exclusion.Larry Shapiro - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):594-604.
Do Causal Powers Drain Away.Ned Block - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
Levels, Orders and the Causal Status of Mental Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):347-362.
The Supervenience Argument Generalizes.Thomas D. Bontly - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 109 (1):75-96.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #120,292 of 2,152,482 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #399,782 of 2,152,482 )
How can I increase my downloads?