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  1. Lightweight and heavyweight anti-physicalism.Damian Aleksiev - 2022 - Synthese 200 (112):1-23.
    I define two metaphysical positions that anti-physicalists can take in response to Jonathan Schaffer’s ground functionalism. Ground functionalism is a version of physicalism where explanatory gaps are everywhere. If ground functionalism is true, arguments against physicalism based on the explanatory gap between the physical and experiential facts fail. In response, first, I argue that some anti-physicalists are already safe from Schaffer’s challenge. These anti-physicalists reject an underlying assumption of ground functionalism: the assumption that macrophysical entities are something over and above (...)
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  2. Why Astrology Works. And Why It Doesn't.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Why quantum physics works. (Why quantum philosophy works.) And why it doesn’t. It’s all about fusion guitar. You could call it 'philosophical (and physical) fusion.' .
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  3. Fundamentality and Levels in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.Alastair Wilson - forthcoming - In Valia Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality. Springer.
    Distinctions in fundamentality between different levels of description are central to the viability of contemporary decoherence-based Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM). This approach to quantum theory characteristically combines a determinate fundamental reality (one universal wave function) with an indeterminate emergent reality (multiple decoherent worlds). In this chapter I explore how the Everettian appeal to fundamentality and emergence can be understood within existing metaphysical frameworks, identify grounding and concept fundamentality as promising theoretical tools, and use them to characterize a system of explanatory (...)
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  4. The Ups and Downs of Mechanism Realism: Functions, Levels, and Crosscutting Hierarchies.Joe Dewhurst & Alistair M. C. Isaac - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Mechanism realists assert the existence of mechanisms as objective structures in the world, but their exact metaphysical commitments are unclear. We introduce Local Hierarchy Realism as a substantive and plausible form of mechanism realism. The limits of LHR reveal a deep tension between two aspects of mechanists’ explanatory strategy. Functional decomposition identifies locally relevant entities and activities, while these same entities and activities are also embedded in a nested hierarchy of levels. In principle, a functional decomposition may identify entities engaging (...)
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  5. Causal Exclusion and Ontic Vagueness.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):56-69.
    The Causal Exclusion Problem is raised in many domains, including in the metaphysics of macroscopic objects. If there is a complete explanation of macroscopic effects in terms of the microscopic entities that compose macroscopic objects, then the efficacy of the macroscopic will be threatened with exclusion. I argue that we can avoid the problem if we accept that macroscopic objects are ontically vague. Then, it is indeterminate which collection of microscopic entities compose them, and so information about microscopic entities is (...)
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  6. New twists on the great chain of being: Ricki Bliss and Graham Priest (eds): Reality and its structure. Essays in fundamentality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 324 pp, £50 HB. [REVIEW]Pierre Saint-Germier - 2020 - Metascience 29 (2):345-349.
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  7. Connectionism and Interlevel Relations.William Bechtel - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):24-25.
  8. Whether Mentality Is "Higher-Level".R. Francescotti - 2002 - Philosophical Inquiry 24 (3/4):65-76.
  9. Causal Pluralism Without Levels: Comments on Humphreys.James Bohman - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):115-127.
Theories of Levels
  1. The Naturalistic Case for Free Will.Christian List - forthcoming - In Stavros Ioannidis, Gal Vishne, Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (eds.), Levels of Reality in Science and Philosophy. Cham: Springer.
    The aim of this expository paper is to give an informal overview of a plausible naturalistic case for free will. I will describe what I take to be the main naturalistically motivated challenges for free will and respond to them by presenting an indispensability argument for free will. The argument supports the reality of free will as an emergent higher-level phenomenon. I will also explain why the resulting picture of free will does not conflict with the possibility that the fundamental (...)
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  2. Special-Science Counterfactuals.Christian List - 2022 - The Monist 105 (2):194–213.
    On the standard analysis, a counterfactual conditional such as “If P had been the case, then Q would have been the case” is true in the actual world if, in all nearest possible worlds in which its antecedent (P) is true, its consequent (Q) is also true. Despite its elegance, this analysis faces a difficulty if the laws of nature are deterministic. Then the antecedent could not have been true, given prior conditions. So, it is unclear what the relevant “nearest (...)
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  3. Top-Down Causation Without Levels.Jan Voosholz - 2021 - In Jan Voosholz & Markus Gabriel (eds.), Top-Down Causation and Emergence. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 269-296.
    The paper addresses a question concerning George Ellis’s theory of top-down causation by considering a challenge to the “level-picture of nature” which he employs as a foundational element in his theory. According to the level-picture, nature is ordered by distinct and finitely many levels, each characterised by its own types of entities, relations, laws and principles of behavior, and causal relations to their respective neighbouring top- and bottom-level. The branching hierarchy that results from this picture enables Ellis to build his (...)
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  4. Non‐Cognitivism About Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Wiley: Analytic Philosophy.
    This paper introduces a non-cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth-apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  5. Against Representational Levels.Nicholas K. Jones - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    Some views articulate reality's hierarchical structure using relations from the fundamental to representations of reality. Other views instead use relations from the fundamental to constituents of non-representational reality. This paper argues against the first kind of view.
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  6. The Disappearing Agent as an Exclusion Problem.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The disappearing agent problem is an argument in the metaphysics of agency. Proponents of the agent-causal approach argue that the rival event-causal approach fails to account for the fact that an agent is active. This paper examines an analogy between this disappearing agent problem and the exclusion problem in the metaphysics of mind. I develop the analogy between these two problems and survey existing solutions. I suggest that some solutions that have received significant attention in response to the exclusion problem (...)
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  7. Review of Kevin Morris, Physicalism Deconstructed: Levels of Reality and the Mind-Body Problem. [REVIEW]Jessica M. Wilson - 2020 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:0-0.
    Morris’s book is a valuable contribution. For the reasons below, I don’t think his case against NRP succeeds, and his version of EP faces a serious difficulty. Even so, this is an admirably clear, subtle, and well-informed brief, and philosophers interested in the structure of natural reality have much to gain from Morris’s insightful discussion and argumentation.
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  8. Metaphysical Emergence.Jessica M. Wilson - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Both the special sciences and ordinary experience suggest that there are metaphysically emergent entities and features: macroscopic goings-on (including mountains, trees, humans, and sculptures, and their characteristic properties) which depend on, yet are distinct from and distinctively efficacious with respect to, lower-level physical configurations and features. These appearances give rise to two key questions. First, what is metaphysical emergence, more precisely? Second, is there any metaphysical emergence, in principle and moreover in fact? Metaphysical Emergence provides clear and systematic answers to (...)
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  9. Non‐Cognitivism About Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    This paper introduces a non-cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth-apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  10. Unity of Science.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Unity of science was once a very popular idea among both philosophers and scientists. But it has fallen out of fashion, largely because of its association with reductionism and the challenge from multiple realisation. Pluralism and the disunity of science are the new norm, and higher-level natural kinds and special science laws are considered to have an important role in scientific practice. What kind of reductionism does multiple realisability challenge? What does it take to reduce one phenomenon to another? How (...)
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  11. Quantum Considerations in the Metaphysics of Levels.Ryan Miller - 2024? - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    Amie Thomasson challenges advocates of layered conceptions of reality to explain “how layers are distinguished” and “what holds them together” by “examining the world” (2014). One strategy for answering such questions is mereological, treating inter-layer relations as parthood relations, where layers exist whenever composition does, and the number of layers will be equivalent to the number of answers to Peter Van Inwagen’s Special Composition Question, while answers to his General Composition Question explain what holds the layers together (1987). Various answers (...)
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  12. The Levels of the Empirical Sciences.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    It is the aim of this paper to develop and defend an interpretation of level of scientific discipline within the truth-maker framework. In particular, I exploit the mereological relation of proper parthood, which is integral to truth-maker semantics, in order to provide an account of scientific level.
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  13. 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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  14. Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael J. Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198:395–418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being (...)
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  15. Mechanistic Levels, Reduction, and Emergence.Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2017 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 185-97.
    We sketch the mechanistic approach to levels, contrast it with other senses of “level,” and explore some of its metaphysical implications. This perspective allows us to articulate what it means for things to be at different levels, to distinguish mechanistic levels from realization relations, and to describe the structure of multilevel explanations, the evidence by which they are evaluated, and the scientific unity that results from them. This approach is not intended to solve all metaphysical problems surrounding physicalism. Yet it (...)
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  16. Natural Kinds and Crosscutting Categories.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 1998 - Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):33.
    There are many ways of construing the claim that some categories are more “natural" than others. One can ask whether a system of categories is innate or acquired by learning, whether it pertains to a natural phenomenon or to a social institution, whether it is lexicalized in natural language or requires a compound linguistic expression. This renders suspect any univocal answer to this question in any particular case. Yet another question one can ask, which some authors take to have a (...)
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  17. From Being Ontologically Serious to Serious Ontology.Michael Esfeld - 2006 - In John Heil: Symposium on His Ontological Point of View. Ontos. pp. 191--206.
    The paper first argues that if one takes current fundamental physics seriously, one gets to a metaphysics of events and relations in contrast to substances and intrinsic properties. Against that background, the paper discusses Heil’s theory of properties being both categorical and dispositional and his rejection of levels of being. I contrast these views with a Humean metaphysics. My concluding claim is that Heil’s account of properties opens up the perspective of a conservative reductionism, which avoids the common reservations against (...)
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  18. Levels of Explanation.David Owens - 1989 - Mind 98 (389):59-79.
  19. Three Obstructions: Forms of Causation, Chronotopoids, and Levels of Reality.Roberto Poli - 2007 - Axiomathes 17 (1):1-18.
    The thesis is defended that the theories of causation, time and space, and levels of reality are mutually interrelated in such a way that the difficulties internal to theories of causation and to theories of space and time can be understood better, and perhaps dealt with, in the categorial context furnished by the theory of the levels of reality. The structural condition for this development to be possible is that the first two theories be opportunely generalized.
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Metaphysical Levels, Misc
  1. Essentialist Non-Reductivism.Taylor-Grey Miller - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    According to many contemporary metaphysicians, we ought to theorize in terms of grounding because of its promise to explicate the idea of reality having a layered structure. However, a tension emerges when one combines the layered structure view with the view that higher-level facts are not reducible to lower level facts. This tension emerges from two problems. The first problem arises from the fact that grounding explanations entail true universal generalizations. In order to satisfy this constraint, we will face serious (...)
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  2. Against Purity.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    A fundamental fact is “pure” just in case it has no grounded entities—ex. Tokyo, President Biden, the River Nile, {Socrates}, etc.—among its constituents. Purity is the thesis that every fundamental fact is pure. I argue that Purity is false. My argument begins with a familiar conditional: if Purity is true, then there are no fundamental “grounding facts” or facts about what grounds what. This conditional is accepted by virtually all of Purity’s defenders. However, I argue that it is also the (...)
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  3. Grounding Causal Closure.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):501-522.
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  4. Non‐Cognitivism About Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    This paper introduces a non-cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth-apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  5. Free Will and the Cross-Level Consequence Argument.Jonathan Birch - 2020
    Christian List has recently constructed a novel formal framework for representing the relationship between free will and determinism. At its core is a distinction between physical and agential levels of description. List has argued that, since the consequence argument cannot be reconstructed within this framework, the consequence argument rests on a ‘category mistake’: an illicit conflation of the physical and agential levels. I show that an expanded version of List’s framework allows the construction of a cross-level consequence argument.
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  6. Levels of the World. Limits and Extensions of Nicolai Hartmann’s and Werner Heisenberg’s Conceptions of Levels.Gregor Schiemann - 2019 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 8 (1):103-122.
    The conception that the world can be represented as a system of levels of being can be traced back to the beginnings of European philosophy and has lost little of its plausibility in the meantime. One of the important modern conceptions of levels was developed by Nicolai Hartmann. It exhibits remarkable similarities and contrasts with the classification of the real developed by Werner Heisenberg in his paper Ordnung der Wirklichkeit (Order of Reality). In my contribution I will introduce these two (...)
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  7. Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael J. Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198:395–418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being (...)
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  8. Mental Properties.John Heil & David Robb - 2003 - American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (3):175-196.
    It is becoming increasingly clear that the deepest problems currently exercising philosophers of mind arise from an ill-begotten ontology, in particular, a mistaken ontology of properties. After going through some preliminaries, we identify three doctrines at the heart of this mistaken ontology: (P) For each distinct predicate, “F”, there exists one, and only one, property, F, such that, if “F” is applicable to an object a, then “F” is applicable in virtue of a’s being F. (U) Properties are universals, not (...)
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  9. Does the Problem of Mental Causation Generalize?Jaegwon Kim - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (3):281-97.
  10. Three Obstructions: Forms of Causation, Chronotopoids, and Levels of Reality.Roberto Poli - 2007 - Axiomathes 17 (1):1-18.
    The thesis is defended that the theories of causation, time and space, and levels of reality are mutually interrelated in such a way that the difficulties internal to theories of causation and to theories of space and time can be understood better, and perhaps dealt with, in the categorial context furnished by the theory of the levels of reality. The structural condition for this development to be possible is that the first two theories be opportunely generalized.
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