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How Physicalists Can Avoid Reductionism

Robert Kirk
Synthese
Vol. 108, No. 2 (Aug., 1996), pp. 157-170
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117539
Page Count: 14
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How Physicalists Can Avoid Reductionism
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Abstract

Kim maintains that "a physicalist has only two genuine options, eliminativism and reductionism". But physicalists can reject both by using the Strict Implication thesis (SI). Discussing his arguments will help to show what useful work SI can do. (1) His discussion of anomalous monism depends on an unexamined assumption to the effect that SI is false. (2) His conclusion on multiple realizability is much stronger than his reasoning warrants. (3) In discussing supervenience, he is wrong to assume that the only approach to explaining why "physical truths determine all the truths" must be via psychophysical laws. (4) His general argument rests on a mistaken assumption that the only alternative to psychophysical identity theses is to accept "supervenient causal relations".

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