The Relation Between General and Particular: Entailment vs. Supervenience

In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 251-287 (2006)
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Abstract

Some argue, following Bertrand Russell, that because general truths are not entailed by particular truths, general facts must be posited to exist in addition to particular facts. I argue on the contrary that because general truths (globally) supervene on particular truths, general facts are not needed in addition to particular facts; indeed, if one accepts the Humean denial of necessary connections between distinct existents, one can further conclude that there are no general facts. When entailment and supervenience do not coincide it is only failure of supervenience, not failure of entailment, that carries ontological import.

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Phillip Bricker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

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