From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Physical World
Horgan (Terence)
Source: Mind 102.408, Oct. 1993, pp. 555-586
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    This paper, in "Mind"'s "State of the Art" series, overviews the uses of the concept of supervenience1 in recent philosophy -- with emphasis on its role in articulating a broadly materialistic position in philosophy of mind and in metaphysics. I first consider the history of this concept in 20th century philosophy, stressing certain ironies and lessons. I discuss British emergentism; Moore and meta-ethical non-naturalism; Hare and meta-ethical non-cognitivism; Davidson and the materialist appropriation of supervenience2. The principal moral is that supervenience3 relations, in order to figure in a broadly materialistic worldview, must be explainable rather than "sui generis". I then take up some issues that have figured prominently in recent philosophical discussions: how to formulate supervenience4 theses; supervenience5 and the causal/explanatory efficacy of nonphysical properties; supervenience6 and inter-theoretic reduction. I conclude with some remarks on the under-appreciated issue of the explainability of supervenience7 relations.

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