Philosophical Studies 155 (1):133 - 160 (2011)

Mark Schroeder
University of Southern California
Johannes Schmitt
University of Konstanz
When it comes to evaluating reductive hypotheses in metaphysics, supervenience arguments are the tools of the trade. Jaegwon Kim and Frank Jackson have argued, respectively, that strong and global supervenience are sufficient for reduction, and others have argued that supervenience theses stand in need of the kind of explanation that reductive hypotheses are particularly suited to provide. Simon Blackburn's arguments about what he claims are the specifically problematic features of the supervenience of the moral on the natural have also been influential. But most discussions of these arguments have proceeded under the strong and restrictive assumptions of the S5 modal logic. In this paper we aim to remedy that defect, by illustrating in an accessible way what happens to these arguments under relaxed assumptions and why. The occasion is recent work by Ralph Wedgwood, who seeks to defend non-reductive accounts of moral and mental properties together with strong supervenience, but to evade both the arguments of Kim and Jackson and the explanatory challenge by accepting only the weaker, B, modal logic. In addition to drawing general lessons about what happens to supervenience arguments under relaxed assumptions, our goal is therefore to shed some light on both the virtues and costs of Wedgwood's proposal
Keywords Supervenience  Reduction  Modal Logic  S5
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9569-1
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References found in this work BETA

Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Supervenience.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):592-615.
The Supervenience Challenge to Non-Naturalism.Pekka Väyrynen - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 170-84.
Reply to Shafer-Landau, Mcpherson, and Dancy. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):463-474.
Supervenience, Dependence, Disjunction.Lloyd Humberstone - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
Supervenience Arguments and Normative Non‐Naturalism.Billy Dunaway - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):627-655.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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Concepts of Supervenience.Jaegwon Kim - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):153-76.
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