Supervenience-based formulations of physicalism

Noûs 39 (3):426-459 (2005)
Authors
Jessica Wilson
University of Toronto, St. George
Abstract
The physicalist thesis that all entities are nothing over and above physical entities is often interpreted as appealing to a supervenience-based account of "nothing over and aboveness”, where, schematically, the A-entities are nothing over and above the B-entities if the A-entities supervene on the B-entities. The main approaches to filling in this schema correspond to different ways of characterizing the modal strength, the supervenience base, or the supervenience connection at issue. I consider each approach in turn, and argue that the resulting formulation of physicalism is compatible with physicalism’s best traditional rival: a naturalist emergentism. Others have argued that supervenience-based formulations of physicalism fail. My aim here, besides addressing the full spectrum of supervenience-based approaches, is to show how certain philosophical and scientific theses concerning naturalism, properties, and laws give us new reasons to think that supervenience-based formulations of physicalism are untenable.
Keywords Emergentism  Metaphysics  Necessity  Physicalism  Properties  Supervenience
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DOI 10.1111/j.0029-4624.2005.00508.x
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References found in this work BETA

Essays on Actions and Events.Donald Davidson - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophical Papers.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It?Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595 - 637.
Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
Mental Causation.Karen Bennett - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):316-337.

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