The Correlation Argument for Reductionism

Philosophy of Science 86 (1):76-97 (2019)
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Abstract

Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that if properties are individuated by their causal powers then, surprisingly, properties are individuated by necessary co-exemplification.

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Christopher Clarke
Cambridge University

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