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The Supervenience Argument Generalizes

Thomas D. Bontly
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 109, No. 1 (May, 2002), pp. 75-96
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4321265
Page Count: 22
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The Supervenience Argument Generalizes
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Abstract

In his recent book, Jaegwon Kim argues that psychophysical supervenience without psychophysical reduction renders mental causation 'unintelligible'. He also claims that, contrary to popular opinion, his argument against supervenient mental causation cannot be generalized so as to threaten the causal efficacy of other 'higher-level' properties: e.g., the properties of special sciences like biology. In this paper, I argue that none of the considerations Kim advances are sufficient to keep the supervenience argument from generalizing to all higher-level properties, and that Kim's position in fact entails that only the properties of fundamental physical particles are causally efficacious.

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