Supervenience, Reduction, and Translation

Philosophy of Science 86 (5):942-954 (2019)
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Abstract

This article considers the following question: What is the relationship between supervenience and reduction? I investigate this formally: first, by introducing a recent argument by Christian List to the effect that one can have supervenience without reduction; then, by considering how the notion of Nagelian reduction can be related to the formal apparatus of definability and translation theory; then, by showing how, in the context of propositional theories, topological constraints on supervenience serve to enforce reducibility; and, finally, by showing how constraints derived from the theory of ultraproducts can enforce reducibility in the context of first-order theories.

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Neil Dewar
Cambridge University