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  1. Science, Substance and Spatial Appearances.Thomas Raleigh - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    According to a certain kind of naïve or folk understanding of physical matter, everyday ‘solid’ objects are composed of a homogeneous, gap-less substance, with sharply defined boundaries, which wholly fills the space they occupy. A further claim is that our perceptual experience of the environment represents or indicates that the objects around us conform to this sort of conception of physical matter. Were this further claim correct, it would mean that the way that the world appears to us in experience (...)
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  • Token-Distinctness and the Disjunctive Strategy.Ranpal Dosanjh - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    According to the Multiple Realizability Argument, a higher-level property typically has many physical realizers, so it cannot be type-identical to any one of them. This enables the non-reductive physicalist to claim that some higher-level properties are type-distinct from physical properties. The reductive physicalist can counter with the Disjunctive Strategy: nothing prevents us from type-identifying the higher-level property with the disjunction of its realizers. Developing a powers-based ontology of properties, Shoemaker and Wilson present responses to the Disjunctive Strategy, wherein higher-level property (...)
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  • Realization and Causal Powers.Umut Baysan - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    In this thesis, I argue that physicalism should be understood to be the view that mental properties are realized by physical properties. In doing this, I explore what the realization relation might be. Since realization is the relation that should help us formulate physicalism, I suggest that the theoretical role of realization consists in explaining some of the things that physicalists wish to explain. These are: How are mental properties metaphysically necessitated by physical properties? How are mental properties causally efficacious? (...)
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  • The Super-Overdetermination Problem.John Donaldson - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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  • 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.
    Motivated by the seeming structure of the sciences, metaphysical emergence combines broadly synchronic dependence coupled with some degree of ontological and causal autonomy. Reflecting the diverse, frequently incompatible interpretations of the notions of dependence and autonomy, however, accounts of emergence diverge into a bewildering variety. Here I argue that much of this apparent diversity is superficial. I first argue, by attention to the problem of higher-level causation, that two and only two strategies for addressing this problem accommodate the genuine emergence (...)
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  • Mental Causation and Intelligibility.David Robb - 2015 - Humana Mente 8 (29).
    I look at some central positions in the mental causation debate – reductionism, emergentism, and nonreductive physicalism – on the hypothesis that mental causation is intelligible. On this hypothesis, mental causes and their effects are internally related so that they intelligibly “fit”, analogous to the way puzzle pieces interlock, or shades of red fall into order within a color sphere. The assumption of intelligibility has what I take to be a welcome consequence: deciding among rivals in the mental causation debate (...)
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  • Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
    As a first pass, physicalism is the doctrine that there is nothing over and above the physical. Much recent philosophical work has been devoted to spelling out what this means in more rigorous terms and to assessing the case for the view. What follows is a survey of such work. I begin by looking at competing accounts of what is meant by nothing over and above and then turn to how the physical should be understood. Once we are clear on (...)
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  • How Counterpart Theory Saves Nonreductive Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):139-174.
    Nonreductive physicalism faces serious problems regarding causal exclusion, causal heterogeneity, and the nature of realization. In this paper I advance solutions to each of those problems. The proposed solutions all depend crucially on embracing modal counterpart theory. Hence, the paper’s thesis: counterpart theory saves nonreductive physicalism. I take as my inspiration the view that mental tokens are constituted by physical tokens in the same way statues are constituted by lumps of clay. I break from other philosophers who have pursued this (...)
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  • Functionalism, Superduperfunctionalism, and Physicalism: Lessons From Supervenience.Ronald Endicott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2205-2235.
    Philosophers almost universally believe that concepts of supervenience fail to satisfy the standards for physicalism because they offer mere property correlations that are left unexplained. They are thus compatible with non-physicalist accounts of those relations. Moreover, many philosophers not only prefer some kind of functional-role theory as a physically acceptable account of mind-body and other inter-level relations, but they use it as a form of “superdupervenience” to explain supervenience in a physically acceptable way. But I reject a central part of (...)
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  • Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):310-331.
    Free will, if such there be, involves free choosing: the ability to mentally choose an outcome, where the outcome is 'free' in being, in some substantive sense, up to the agent of the choice. As such, it is clear that the questions of how to understand free will and mental causation are connected, for events of seemingly free choosing are mental events that appear to be efficacious vis-a-vis other mental events as well as physical events. Nonetheless, the free will and (...)
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  • A Determinable-Based Account of Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Jessica M. Wilson - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):359-385.
    ABSTRACT Many phenomena appear to be indeterminate, including material macro-object boundaries and certain open future claims. Here I provide an account of indeterminacy in metaphysical, rather than semantic or epistemic, terms. Previous accounts of metaphysical indeterminacy have typically taken this to involve its being indeterminate which of various determinate states of affairs obtain. On my alternative account, MI involves its being determinate that an indeterminate state of affairs obtains. I more specifically suggest that MI involves an object's having a determinable (...)
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  • Must Strong Emergence Collapse?Umut Baysan & Jessica Wilson - 2017 - Philosophica 91:49--104.
    Some claim that the notion of strong emergence as involving ontological or causal novelty makes no sense, on grounds that any purportedly strongly emergent features or associated powers 'collapse', one way or another, into the lower-level base features upon which they depend. Here we argue that there are several independently motivated and defensible means of preventing the collapse of strongly emergent features or powers into their lower-level bases, as directed against a conception of strongly emergent features as having fundamentally novel (...)
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  • No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
    It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation— ‘Grounding’—is ultimately at issue in contexts in which some goings-on are said to hold ‘in virtue of’’, be ‘metaphysically dependent on’, or be ‘nothing over and above’ some others. Grounding is supposed to do good work in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether (...)
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  • Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese:1-16.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non- reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom (...)
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  • Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
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  • Causal Overdetermination and Modal Compatibilism.Kevin Sharpe - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1111-1131.
    Compatibilists respond to the problem of causal exclusion for nonreductive physicalism by rejecting the exclusionist’s ban on overdetermination. By the compatibilist’s lights there are two forms of overdetermination, one that’s problematic and another that is entirely benign. Furthermore, multiple causation by “tightly related” causes requires only the benign form of overdetermination. Call this the tight relation strategy for avoiding problematic forms of overdetermination. To justify the tight relation strategy, modal compatibilists appeal to a widely accepted counterfactual test. The argument of (...)
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  • Metaphysical Necessity Dualism.Ben White - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1779-1798.
    A popular response to the Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that mental events depend on their physical bases in such a way that the causation of a physical effect by a mental event and its physical base needn’t generate any problematic form of causal overdetermination, even if mental events are numerically distinct from and irreducible to their physical bases. This paper presents and defends a form of dualism that implements this response by using a dispositional essentialist view of properties to (...)
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  • Realizing Race.Aaron M. Griffith - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  • Subset Realization and the Problem of Property Entailment.Justin Tiehen - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):471-480.
    Brian McLaughlin has objected to Sydney Shoemaker’s subset account of realization, posing what I call the problem of property entailment. Recently, Shoemaker has revised his subset account in response to McLaughlin’s objection. In this paper I argue that Shoemaker’s revised view fails to solve the problem of property entailment, and in fact makes the problem worse. I then put forward my own solution to the problem.
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  • Emergent Substances, Physical Properties, Action Explanations.Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1125-1146.
    This paper proposes that if individual X ‘inherits’ property F from individual Y, we should be leery of explanations that appeal to X’s being F. This bears on what I’ll call “emergent substance dualism”, the view that human persons or selves are metaphysically fundamental or “new kinds of things with new kinds of causal powers” even though they depend in some sense on physical particulars :5–23, 2006; Personal agency. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008). Two of the most prominent advocates of (...)
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  • Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):3-24.
    How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality (...)
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  • Social Construction: Big-G Grounding, Small-G Realization.Aaron Griffith - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):241-260.
    The goal of this paper is to make headway on a metaphysics of social construction. In recent work, I’ve argued that social construction should be understood in terms of metaphysical grounding. However, I agree with grounding skeptics like Wilson that bare claims about what grounds what are insufficient for capturing, with fine enough grain, metaphysical dependence structures. To that end, I develop a view on which the social construction of human social kinds is a kind of realization relation. Social kinds, (...)
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  • The Cost of Forfeiting Causal Inheritance.Justin T. Tiehen - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):491-507.
    Jaegwon Kim’s causal inheritance principle says that the causal powers of a mental property instance are identical with the causal powers of its particular physical realizer. Sydney Shoemaker’s subset account of realization is at odds with Kim’s principle: it says that a mental property instance has fewer causal powers than Kim’s principle entails. In this paper, I argue that the subset account should be rejected because it has intolerable consequences for mental causation, consequences that are avoided by accepting causal inheritance. (...)
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  • Causal Powers and the Necessity of Realization.Umut Baysan - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (4):525-531.
    Non-reductive physicalists hold that mental properties are realized by physical properties. The realization relation is typically taken to be a metaphysical necessitation relation. Here, I explore how the metaphysical necessitation feature of realization can be explained by what is known as ‘the subset view’ of realization. The subset view holds that the causal powers that are associated with a realized property are a proper subset of the causal powers that are associated with the realizer property. I argue that the said (...)
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  • What is the Exclusion Problem?Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
    The philosophical literature contains at least three formulations of the problem of causal exclusion. Although each of the three most common formulations targets theories according to which some effects have ‘too many determiners’, no one is reducible to either of the others. This article proposes two ‘new’ exclusion problems and suggests that exclusion is not a single problem but a family of problems unified by the situations they problematize. It is shown, further, that for three of the most popular attempts (...)
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  • Token Causal Powers.Jeff Engelhardt - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (1-2):159-180.
    This paper proposes that the relation between property instances and token causal powers is akin to the relation between primary substances and property instances on the Aristotelian account of property instantiation. This view permits an individual to have two tokens of the same type of causal power. Paul Audi has argued that this cannot be: two tokens of the same power type are discernible, he claims, only if they are borne by discernible individuals. In the context of this criticism, he (...)
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  • How to Rule Out Disjunctive Properties.Paul Audi - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):748-766.
    Are there disjunctive properties? This question is important for at least two reasons. First, disjunctive properties are invoked in defense of certain philosophical theories, especially in the philosophy of mind. Second, the question raises the prior issue of what counts as a genuine property, a central concern in the metaphysics of properties. I argue here, on the basis of general considerations in the metaphysics of properties, that there are no disjunctive properties. Specifically, I argue that genuine properties must guarantee similarity-in-a-respect (...)
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • Neural Synchrony and the Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.David Yates - forthcoming - Topoi:1-16.
    The purpose of this paper is to address a well-known dilemma for physicalism. If mental properties are type identical to physical properties, then their causal efficacy is secure, but at the cost of ruling out mentality in creatures very different to ourselves. On the other hand, if mental properties are multiply realizable, then all kinds of creatures can instantiate them, but then they seem to be causally redundant. The causal exclusion problem depends on the widely held principle that realized properties (...)
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  • Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.
    “Realization” is a technical term that is used by metaphysicians, philosophers of mind, and philosophers of science to denote some dependence relation that is thought to obtain between higher-level properties and lower-level properties. It is said that mental properties are realized by physical properties; functional and computational properties are realized by first-order properties that occupy certain causal/functional roles; dispositional properties are realized by categorical properties; so on and so forth. Given this wide usage of the term “realization”, it would be (...)
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  • Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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  • Shoemaker's Analysis of Realization: A Review.David Pineda & Agustín Vicente - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):97-120.
    Sydney Shoemaker has been arguing for more than a decade for an account of the mind–body problem in which the notion of realization takes centre stage. His aim is to provide a notion of realization that is consistent with the multiple realizability of mental properties or events, and which explains: how the physical grounds the mental; and why the causal work of mental events is not screened off by that of physical events. Shoemaker's proposal consists of individuating properties in terms (...)
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  • Social Construction and Grounding.Aaron M. Griffith - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):393-409.
    The aim of this paper is to bring recent work on metaphysical grounding to bear on the phenomenon of social construction. It is argued that grounding can be used to analyze social construction and that the grounding framework is helpful for articulating various claims and commitments of social constructionists, especially about social identities, e.g., gender and race. The paper also responds to a number of objections that have been leveled against the application of grounding to social construction from Elizabeth Barnes, (...)
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  • Interactive, Inclusive Substance Dualism.Jeff Engelhardt - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1149-1165.
    This paper argues that a certain kind of substance dualism can adopt the ‘Compatibilist’ solution to the problem of causal exclusion. After sketching a non-Cartesian substance dualism akin to E.J. Lowe’s account, 5-23, 2006, 2008) and considering its shortcomings with respect to mental causation in section one, section two outlines an alternative account of mental causation and argues that this account solves the exclusion problem. Finally, section three considers a challenge to the proposed solution. With the exception of Lowe’s efforts, (...)
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  • Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper revisits some classic thought experiments in which experiences are detached from their characteristic causal roles, and explores what these thought experiments tell us about qualia epiphenomenalism, i.e. the view that qualia are epiphenomenal properties. It argues that qualia epiphenomenalism is true just in case it is (nomologically) possible for experiences of the same type to have entirely different causal powers. This is done with the help of new conceptual tools regarding the concept of an epiphenomenal property. One conclusion (...)
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  • What's Wrong With Brute Supervenience? A Defense of Horgan on Physicalism and Superdupervenience.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):256-280.
    This paper offers a qualified defense of Terry Horgan’s view of brute, inexplicable supervenience theses as physically unacceptable—as having no place in physicalist metaphysics—and his corresponding emphasis on the importance of “superdupervenience”, metaphysical supervenience that can be explained in a “materialistically acceptable” way. I argue, in response to Tom Polger, that it may be possible to ground the physical unacceptability of brute supervenience in its relation physically unacceptable properties supervening on physical properties; moreover, I argue that Horgan’s emphasis on the (...)
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  • The Russellian Monist's Problems with Mental Causation.R. Howell - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258):22-39.
    Russellian Monism, the view that phenomenal or protophenomenal properties serve as the categorical grounds of physical dispositions, has increasingly been thought to enjoy an advantage over traditional property dualism in that it avoids epiphenomenalism. This paper argues otherwise. Russellian Monism faces problems with mental causation that parallel those of traditional dualism. The best it can hope for is that phenomenal properties are causally relevant, but not in virtue of their phenomenality.
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  • Property Reductive Emergent Dualism.Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):63-75.
    This paper sketches and motivates a metaphysics of mind that is both substance dualist and, to a large extent, property reductive. Call it “property reductive emergent dualism”. Section “Emergent Dualism” gives the broad outlines of the view. Sections “Problems of Mental Causation” and “Theoretical Virtues” argue that it can claim several advantages over non-reductive physicalist theories of mind. Section “Problems of Mental Causation” considers metaphysical challenges to mental causation in detail. Section “Theoretical Virtues” considers overall theoretical virtues: ontological and ideological (...)
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  • An Argument for Power Inheritance.Umut Baysan - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly (263):pqv126.
    Abstract: Non-reductive physicalism is commonly understood as the view that mental properties are realized by physical properties. Here, I argue that the realization relation in question is a power inheritance relation: if a property P realizes a property Q, then the causal powers of Q are a subset of the causal powers of P. Whereas others have motivated this claim by appealing to its theoretical benefits, I argue that it is in fact entailed by two theses: (i) realization is a (...)
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