About this topic
Summary Supervenience is a modal correlational notion, often offered as a comparatively metaphysically lightweight way of tracking dependence relations between entities or features at different levels of reality, and which is often glossed as tracking cases where there is no change in supervenient goings-on without a change in supervenience base goings-on. There are many forms of supervenience. Some vary with respect to the strength of modal correlation as, e.g., holding in worlds with the same laws of nature (nomological supervenience) or in every possible world (metaphysical supervenience). Some vary with respect to whether the supervenience base comprises specific entities or features (weak and strong supervenience), sub-world regions (regional supervenience), or the world as a whole (global supervenience).
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  1. The Supervenience of the Normative and the Autonomy of Essence: Lessons From Leary’s Hybrid Gambit.David Plunkett & Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - In The Future of Normativity. Oxford:
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  2. Spacetime Emergence: Collapsing the Distinction Between Content and Context?Karen Crowther - forthcoming - In Shyam Wuppuluri & Ian Stewart (eds.), From Electrons to Elephants and Elections: Saga of Content and Context. Springer.
    Several approaches to developing a theory of quantum gravity suggest that spacetime—as described by general relativity—is not fundamental. Instead, spacetime is supposed to be explained by reference to the relations between more fundamental entities, analogous to `atoms' of spacetime, which themselves are not (fully) spatiotemporal. Such a case may be understood as emergence of \textit{content}: a `hierarchical' case of emergence, where spacetime emerges at a `higher', or less-fundamental, level than its `lower-level' non-spatiotempral basis. But quantum gravity cosmology also presents us (...)
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  3. A Defense of the Supervenience Requirement on Physicalism.Torin Alter - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (4):264-274.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  4. 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 wavefunction) 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 levels (...)
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  5. A New and Improved Supervenience Argument for Ethical Descriptivism.C. Brown - 2011 - In R. Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. pp. 205-218.
    Ethical descriptivism is the view that all ethical properties are descriptive properties. Frank Jackson has proposed an argument for this view which begins with the premise that the ethical supervenes on the descriptive, any worlds that differ ethically must differ also descriptively. This paper observes that Jackson's argument has a curious structure, taking a linguistic detour between metaphysical starting and ending points, and raises some worries stemming from this. It then proposes an improved version of the argument, which avoids these (...)
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  6. Rationality and Supervenience: A Comment on Broome.Hille Paakkunainen - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (4):321-331.
    ABSTRACT Broome criticizes reasons-responsiveness conceptions of rationality by arguing that while rationality supervenes on non-factive mental states, reasons-responsiveness in the relevant sense does not. I give a limited defence of reasons-responsiveness conceptions of rationality against Broome’s criticisms. I argue that Broome fails to show that reasons-responsiveness conceptions of rationality are barred from regarding non-factive mental duplicates as equally rational in the sorts of ‘New Evil Demon’ scenarios that tend to motivate the intuition that rationality supervenes on non-factive mental states. Still, (...)
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  7. Stochastic Supervenience.Carl Craver - 2017 - In Marcus P. Adams, Zvi Biener, Uljana Feest & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (eds.), Eppur Si Muove: Doing History and Philosophy of Science with Peter Machamer: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Peter Machamer. Springer.
    The thesis of physical supervenience is widely understood and endorsed as the weakest assertion that all facts are tethered to the physical facts. As an exercise in exploring the constitutive commitments of an ontic view of mechanistic explanation, I entertain a weaker tethering relation, stochastic physical supervenience, the possibility of which is suggested by analogy with the apparent failure of causal determinism in certain areas of physical science. Considering this possibility helps to clarify the constitutive commitments of mechanistic explanation and (...)
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  8. The Normative and the Natural.Michael Padraic Wolf & Jeremy Randel Koons - 2016 - New York: Palgrave.
    Drawing on a rich pragmatist tradition, this book offers an account of the different kinds of ‘oughts’, or varieties of normativity, that we are subject to contends that there is no conflict between normativity and the world as science describes it. The authors argue that normative claims aim to evaluate, to urge us to do or not do something, and to tell us how a state of affairs ought to be. These claims articulate forms of action-guidance that are different in (...)
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  9. Interventionism and Non-Causal Dependence Relations: New Work for a Theory of Supervenience.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Causes must be distinct from their effects. If the temperature in a room is 15°F, this can cause water pipes to freeze. However, the temperature’s being 15°F is not a cause of the temperature’s being below the freezing point. In general, conceptual, logical, mathematical, and other non-causal dependence relations should not be misclassified as causal. In this paper, I discuss how interventionist theories of causation can meet the challenge of distinguishing between (direct or indirect) causal relations and dependence relations that (...)
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  10. Cryptocurrency Will End Government as We ‘Know’ It.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    Nature tokenizes an always-present circle (the circular-linear relationship) (one zero-one one) (circumference and diameter) (literally and figuratively). Meaning, everything we 'see' in Nature is a token for a circle. Meaning, technology, specifically crypto-technology, will eventually take over what we currently 'know' as 'government.' (Authority in general.) For the intelligent anarchist in all of us.
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  11. Living in a Tokenized (Think: Cryptic) Reality.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Zero and one (modern) are yin and yang (ancient), circumference and diameter (literally and figuratively) of an always-conserved (omnipresent) circular-linear relationship. Explaining everything in Nature.
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  12. Toward an Ethics of Nothingness: Sartre, Supervenience, and the Necessity of My Contingency.Jose Luis Fernandez - 2021 - Humanities Bulletin 4 (1):9-19.
    Ethics normally proceeds by establishing some kind of ground from which norms can be derived for human action. However, no such terra firma is found in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, which instead lays down a sedimentary soil consisting of a blend of nothingness and contingency. This paper aims to show how Sartre is able to build an ethical theory from this seemingly groundless mixture, and it proceeds in three sections. Section one aims to disentangle the relation between the for-itself (...)
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  13. Semantic Supervenience.Luca Gasparri - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    It is common belief that semantic properties supervene on non-semantic properties: no two possible worlds can be non-semantic duplicates and fail to be semantic duplicates. The view enjoys somewhat of an orthodoxy status in contemporary philosophy of language and metaphysics, and is often assumed without argument. Yet, work by Stephen Kearns and Ofra Magidor has claimed that it is vulnerable to a variant of the classical arguments against the supervenience of the phenomenal on the physical. This paper does three things: (...)
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  14. Particularism and Supervenience.Caj Strandberg - 2008 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume Iii. Oxford University Press.
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  15. The Relation Between General and Particular: Entailment Vs. Supervenience.Phillip Bricker - 2006 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 2. Oxford University Press.
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  16. Recombination, Causal Constraints, and Humean Supervenience: An Argument for Temporal Parts?Ryan Wasserman, John Hawthorne & Mark Scala - 2004 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
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  17. A New and Improved Supervenience Argument for Ethical Descriptivism.Campbell Brown - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 6. Oxford University Press.
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  18. The Future of 'NFT'.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Hidden behind any 'one' is some 'other' 'one'... thus, the circle is conserved (circularity is the core dynamic in Nature) (producing a completely tokenized reality).
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  19. How Interventionist Accounts of Causation Work in Experimental Practice and Why There is No Need to Worry About Supervenience.Tudor M. Baetu - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4601-4620.
    It has been argued that supervenience generates unavoidable confounding problems for interventionist accounts of causation, to the point that we must choose between interventionism and supervenience. According to one solution, the dilemma can be defused by excluding non-causal determinants of an outcome as potential confounders. I argue that this solution undermines the methodological validity of causal tests. Moreover, we don’t have to choose between interventionism and supervenience in the first place. Some confounding problems are effectively circumvented by experimental designs routinely (...)
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  20. Two notions of holism.Elizabeth Miller - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4187-4206.
    A simple argument proposes a direct link between realism about quantum mechanics and one kind of metaphysical holism: if elementary quantum theory is at least approximately true, then there are entangled systems with intrinsic whole states for which the intrinsic properties and spatiotemporal arrangements of salient subsystem parts do not suffice. Initially, the proposal is compelling: we can find variations on such reasoning throughout influential discussions of entanglement. Upon further consideration, though, this simple argument proves a bit too simple. To (...)
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  21. Kim on Emergence.Sydney Shoemaker - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 108 (1):53-63.
    Emergence requires that the ultimate physical micro-entities have “micro-latent” causal powers, which manifest themselves only when the entities are combined in ways that are “emergence-engendering,” in addition to the “micro-manifest” powers that account for their behavior in other circumstances. Subjects of emergent properties will have emergent micro-structural properties, specified partly in terms of these micro-latent powers, each of which will be determined by a micro-structural property specified only in terms of the micro-manifest powers of the constituents and the way they (...)
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  22. Supervenient Properties and Micro-Based Properties.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99:115-118.
  23. Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Mind.Neil Campbell (ed.) - 2003 - Broadview Press.
    Since Descartes’s division of the human subject into mental and physical components in the seventeenth century, there has been a great deal of discussion about how—indeed, whether or not—our mental states bring about our physical behavior. Through historical and contemporary readings, this collection explores this lively and important issue. In four parts, this anthology introduces the problem of mental causation, explores the debate sparked by Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, examines Frank Jackson's knowledge argument for the view that qualia are epiphenomenal, (...)
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  24. Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Mind: A Reader.Neil Campbell - 2003 - Broadview Press.
    Since Descartes’s division of the human subject into mental and physical components in the seventeenth century, there has been a great deal of discussion about how—indeed, whether or not—our mental states bring about our physical behavior. Through historical and contemporary readings, this collection explores this lively and important issue. In four parts, this anthology introduces the problem of mental causation, explores the debate sparked by Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, examines Frank Jackson's knowledge argument for the view that qualia are epiphenomenal, (...)
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  25. Supervenient and Yet Not Deducible: Is There a Coherent Concept of Ontological Emergence?Kim Jaegwon - 2009 - In A. Hieke & H. Leitgeb (eds.), Reduction: Between the Mind and the Brain. Ontos Verlag.
  26. Reduction with Autonomy: Mental Causation, Reduction and Supervenience.Lm Antony & J. Levine - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:83-105.
  27. Emergence.Elly Vintiadis - 2013 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An entry on the meaning and history of emergence as well as the current debate on emergentism in philosophy and the sciences.
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Supervenience and Physicalism
  1. Physicalism, Closure, and the Structure of Causal Arguments for Physicalism: A Naturalistic Formulation of the Physical.Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-16.
    Physicalism is the idea that everything either is physical or is nothing over and above the physical. For this formulation of physicalism to have determinate content, it should be identified what the “physical” refers to; i.e. the body problem. Some other closely related theses, especially the ones employed in the causal arguments for different versions of physicalism, and more especially the causal closure thesis, are also subject to the body problem. In this paper, I do two things. First, I explore (...)
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  2. Physicalism Without Supervenience.Lei Zhong - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1529-1544.
    It is widely accepted that supervenience is a minimal commitment of physicalism. In this article, however, I aim to argue that physicalism should be exempted from the supervenience requirement. My arguments rely on a parallel between ontological dependence and causal dependence. Since causal dependence does not require causal determination, ontological dependence should not require ontological determination either. Moreover, my approach has a significant theoretical advantage: if physicalism is not committed to supervenience, then the metaphysical possibility of zombies—which is still wide (...)
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  3. The Josephson Junction.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
  4. Radical Interpretation and Decision Theory.Anandi Hattiangadi & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6473-6494.
    This paper takes issue with an influential interpretationist argument for physicalism about intentionality based on the possibility of radical interpretation. The interpretationist defends the physicalist thesis that the intentional truths supervene on the physical truths by arguing that it is possible for a radical interpreter, who knows all of the physical truths, to work out the intentional truths about what an arbitrary agent believes, desires, and means without recourse to any further empirical information. One of the most compelling arguments for (...)
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  5. The Quantum Field Theory on Which the Everyday World Supervenes.Sean M. Carroll - manuscript
    Effective Field Theory (EFT) is the successful paradigm underlying modern theoretical physics, including the "Core Theory" of the Standard Model of particle physics plus Einstein's general relativity. I will argue that EFT grants us a unique insight: each EFT model comes with a built-in specification of its domain of applicability. Hence, once a model is tested within some domain (of energies and interaction strengths), we can be confident that it will continue to be accurate within that domain. Currently, the Core (...)
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  6. Physicalism UnBlocked.D. Gene Witmer - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):890-904.
    What has become known as the blockers problem is an alleged difficulty facing attempts to formulate physicalism as a supervenience thesis. A blocker is an entity, itself contrary to physicalism, with the power to disrupt an otherwise necessary connection between physical and nonphysical conditions. I argue that there is no distinct blockers problem. Insofar as a problem can be identified, it turns out to be just a rather baroque version of a distinct and familiar objection to supervenience formulations and to (...)
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  7. A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its be...
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  8. Terence Horgan, Marcelo Sabatés, and David Sosa (Eds.): Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes From the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim. [REVIEW]Daniel Stoljar - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1.
    Review of Horgan, Sabatés, and Sosa's (eds.) *Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes from the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim*.
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  9. Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler’s Perspective.Alexander Gebharter, Maria Sekatskaya & Gerhard Schurz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  10. Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  11. Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Supervenience.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
    This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...)
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  12. Elimination, Not Reduction: Lessons From the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) and Multiple Realisation.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e22.
    The thesis of multiple realisation that Borsboom et al. are relying on should not be taken for granted. In dissolving the apparent multiple realisation, the reductionist research strategies in psychopathology research (the Research Domain Criteria [RDoC] framework, in particular) are bound to lead to eliminativism rather than reductionism. Therefore, Borsboom et al. seem to be aiming at a wrong target.
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  13. Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  14. Physicalism, Truthmaking, and Levels of Reality: Prospects and Problems.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):473-482.
    This paper considers the extent to which the notion of truthmaking can play a substantive role in defining physicalism. While a truthmaking-based approach to physicalism is prima facie attractive, there is some reason to doubt that truthmaking can do much work when it comes to understanding physicalism, and perhaps austere metaphysical frameworks in general. First, despite promising to dispense with higher-level properties and states, truthmaking appears to make little progress on issues concerning higher-level items and how they are related to (...)
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland - 2018 - Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
  18. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  19. Die Architektur der Synthese. Entstehung und Philosophie der modernen Evolutionstheorie.Marcel Weber - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Konstanz
    This Ph.D. thesis provides a pilosophical account of the structure of the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 40s. The first, more historical part analyses how classical genetics came to be integrated into evolutionary thinking, highlighting in particular the importance of chromosomal mapping of Drosophila strains collected in the wild by Dobzansky, but also the work of Goldschmidt, Sumners, Timofeeff-Ressovsky and others. The second, more philosophical part attempts to answer the question wherein the unity of the synthesis consisted. I argue (...)
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  20. Grounding Entails Supervenience.Samuele Chilovi - 2021 - Synthese 198:1317-1334.
    Do grounding claims entail corresponding supervenience claims? The question matters, as a positive answer would help grounding theorists address worries that their hyperintensional primitive is obscure, and also increase the argumentative strategies that are available within ground-theoretic frameworks for metaphysical inquiry. Leuenberger (Erkenntnis 79:227–240, 2014a) argues for a negative response, by specifying some candidate principles of entailment and then claiming that each of them is subject to counterexamples. In this paper, I critically assess those principles and the objections he raises (...)
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  21. Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):852-883.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. In this paper, I propose a unified framework for modelling levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and show that it can accommodate descriptive, explanatory, and ontological notions of levels. I further illustrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some salient philosophical questions: (1) Is there a linear hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the bottom? And (...)
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  22. Causal Exclusion Without Physical Completeness and No Overdetermination.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Abstracta 10:3-14.
    Hitchcock demonstrated that the validity of causal exclusion arguments as well as the plausibility of several of their premises hinges on the specific theory of causation endorsed. In this paper I show that the validity of causal exclusion arguments—if represented within the theory of causal Bayes nets the way Gebharter suggests—actually requires much weaker premises than the ones which are typically assumed. In particular, neither completeness of the physical domain nor the no overdetermination assumption are required.
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  23. The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental by Robert Kirk. [REVIEW]D. Gene Witmer - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):552-556.
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