Jaegwon Kim is one of the most preeminent and most influential contributors to the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. This collection of essays presents the core of his work on supervenience and mind with two sets of postscripts especially written for the book. The essays focus on such issues as the nature of causation and events, what dependency relations other than causal relations connect facts and events, the analysis of supervenience, and the mind-body problem. A central problem in the philosophy (...) of mind is the problem of explaining how the mind can causally influence bodily processes. Professor Kim explores this problem in detail, criticizes the nonreductionist solution of it, and offers a modified reductionist solution of his own. Both professional philosophers and their graduate students will find this an invaluable collection. (shrink)
This paper explores the fundamental ideas that have motivated the idea of emergence and the movement of emergentism. The concept of reduction, which lies at the heart of the emergence idea is explicated, and it is shown how the thesis that emergent properties are irreducible gives a unified account of emergence. The paper goes on to discuss two fundamental unresolved issues for emergentism. The first is that of giving a “positive” characterization of emergence; the second is to give a coherent (...) explanation of how “downward” causation, a central component of emergentism, is able to avoid the problem of overdetermination. (shrink)
This paper analyzes and evaluates quine's influential thesis that epistemology should become a chapter of empirical psychology. quine's main point, it is argued, is that normativity must be banished from epistemology and, more generally, philosophy. i claim that without a normative concept of justification, we lose the very concept of knowledge, and that belief ascription itself becomes impossible without a normative concept of rationality. further, the supervenience of concepts of epistemic appraisal shows that normative epistemology is indeed possible.
Somewhat loose arguments that non-reductive physicalist realism is untenable. Anomalous monism makes the mental irrelevant, functionalism is compatible with species-specific reduction, and supervenience is weak or reductive.
In this paper I will revisit an argument that I have called “the supervenience argument”; it is sometimes called “the exclusion argument” in the literature. I want to reconsider several aspects of this argument in light of some of the criticisms and comments it has elicited, clarifying some points and offering a slightly reformulated—and improved—version of the argument. My primary aim, however, is to discuss and respond to Ned Block’s edifying and challenging critique of the argument in his “Do Causal (...) Powers Drain Away?”—in particular, his claim that the argument has the consequence that if there is no bottom microphysical level, causal powers will “drain away”, leaving us with no causation anywhere. The supervenience argument was designed to show that on a certain popular and influential view of mentality and its relationship to the physical, mental properties turn out to be epiphenomenal, that is, without causal powers of their own. (shrink)
The philosophy of mind has always been a staple of the philosophy curriculum. But it has never held a more important place than it does today, with both traditional problems and new topics often sparked by the developments in the psychological, cognitive, and computer sciences. Jaegwon Kim’s Philosophy of Mind is the classic, comprehensive survey of the subject. Now in its second edition, Kim explores, maps, and interprets this complex and exciting terrain. Designed as an introduction to the field for (...) upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, Philosophy of Mind focuses on the mind/body problem and related issues, some touching on the status of psychology and cognitive science. The second edition features a new chapter on Cartesian substance dualism-a perspective that has been little discussed in the mainstream philosophy of mind and almost entirely ignored in most introductory books in philosophy of mind. In addition, all the chapters have been revised and updated to reflect the trends and developments of the last decade. Throughout the text, Kim allows readers to come to their own terms with the central problems of the mind. At the same time, the author’s own emerging views are on display and serve to move the discussion forward. Comprehensive, clear, and fair, Philosophy of Mind is a model of philosophical exposition. It is a major contribution to the study and teaching of the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
For three decades the writings of Jaegwon Kim have had a major influence in philosophy of mind and in metaphysics. Sixteen of his philosophical papers, together with several new postscripts, are collected in Kim . The publication of this collection prompts the present essay. After some preliminary remarks in the opening section, in Section 2 I will briefly describe Kim's philosophical 'big picture' about the relation between the mental and the physical. In Section 3 I will situate Kim's approach on (...) the larger philosophical landscape, vis-à-vis various other approaches frequently discussed in contemporary philosophy of mind. This comparative discussion will further illuminate Kim's own position, and also will serve as groundwork for subsequent discussion. In Section 4 I will point out certain persistent internal tensions in Kim's philosophical position on the mind--body problem, tensions that emerge especially clearly against the backdrop of Section 3's comparative discussion of Kim's position relative to various competing positions. In the remainder of the paper I will focus on two issues at the heart of his position, with particular attention to what he says about them in some of the more recent papers and the postscripts in Kim . First, how should a materialist understand the notion that the mental is 'determined' by the physical? More specifically, what role, if any, should be played by the concept of supervenience in explicating this kind of determination relation? Kim's views on this matter have recently changed, and I will discuss the issue with particular attention to his own latest remarks on it. This is the business of Section 5. Second, need a viable materialism assert that mentalistic psychology is reducible to neurobiology? More specifically, should a materialist insist on reducibility, despite the currently influential line of argument used by non-reductive materialists, the 'multiple realization' argument? On this matter too, Kim's views have changed somewhat; again, I will discuss the issue with particular attention to his recent thinking. This is the business of Section 6. (shrink)
This paper examines the idea, commonly presupposed but seldom explicitly stated in discussions of certain philosophical problems, that the objects and phenomena of the world are structured in a hierarchy of "levels", from the bottom level of microparticles to the levels of cells and biological organisms and then to the levels of creatures with mentality and social groups of such creatures. Parallel to this "layered model" of the natural world is an ordering of the sciences, with physics as our "basic" (...) science and the "special sciences" forming a ladder-like hierarchy, from chemistry to biology to psychology and the social sciences, all grounded in basic physics. Focusing on two formulations of this model, the emergentist model of C. Lloyd Morgan and the reductionist model due to Paul Oppenheim and Hilary Putnam, the paper discusses such questions as these:What makes a given level of objects "higher" or "lower" than another? What makes a given property "higher" or "lower" than another property. Are objects and properties always comparable with respect to "higher" and "lower"? Can an overarching hierarchy of entities and properties be developed that comprehends the entire natural order? The issues turn out to be quite complex, and no definitive general conclusions are reached. (shrink)
THIS PAPER CORRECTS AN ERROR IN MY EARLIER PAPER, "CONCEPTS OF SUPERVENIENCE" ("PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH", VOLUME 45, 1984), AND PRESENTS FURTHER MATERIAL ON SUPERVENIENCE. THE ERROR IS THE CLAIM THAT "GLOBAL" SUPERVENIENCE ENTAILS "STRONG" SUPERVENIENCE. HOWEVER, IT IS ARGUED THAT THIS FAILURE OF ENTAILMENT ONLY GOES TO SHOW THE INADEQUACY OF GLOBAL SUPERVENIENCE AS AN EXPLICATION OF "DEPENDENCY" OR "DETERMINATION" RELATION, AND, IN PARTICULAR, THAT MATERIALISM FORMULATED IN TERMS OF GLOBAL SUPERVENIENCE APPEARS TOO WEAK. (IT IS POINTED OUT, AMONG (...) OTHER THINGS, THAT GLOBAL SUPERVENIENCE DOES NOT ENTAIL "WEAK" SUPERVENIENCE). A STRONGER FORM OF GLOBAL SUPERVENIENCE, BASED ON "SIMILARITY" RATHER THAN "INDISCERNIBILITY" BETWEEN WORLDS, IS FORMULATED AND BRIEFLY DISCUSSED. (shrink)
This paper discusses in broad terms the metaphysical projects of Sydney Shoemaker’s Physical Realization . Specifically, I examine the effectiveness of Shoemaker’s novel “subset” account of realization for defusing the problem of mental causation, and compare the “subset” account with the standard “second-order” account. Finally, I discuss the physicalist status of the metaphysical worldview presented in Shoemaker’s important new contribution to philosophy of mind and metaphysics.
If contemporary analytic philosophy can be said to have a philosophical ideology, it undoubtedly is naturalism. Naturalism is often invoked as a motivating ground for many philosophical projects, and “naturalization” programs abound everywhere, in theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, theory of meaning, metaphysics, and ethics. But what is naturalism, and where does it come from? This paper examines the naturalism debate in midtwentieth-century America as a proximate source of contemporary naturalism. Views of philosophers like Roy Wood Sellars, John Dewey, (...) John Herman Randall, Sydney Hook, and Ernest Nagel are cited, and some of the central tenets of naturalism, such as an adherence to “scientific method” as the sole source of knowledge and the causal/ explanatory closure of the natural world, are explored. The paper ends with a brief discussion of how certain naturalistic constraints lead to some of the problems currently debated in metaethics and philosophy of mind. (shrink)