Searching for the Proper Kind of Supervenience
Alexander (Ronald)
Source: Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity, 1997, Chapter 3
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. Chapter III contains an exposition of the concept of supervenience2 as it must be understood in its role of depicting the relationship between the self and its subvenient properties, viz., the physical and psychological properties of the human individual that give rise to the self. However, the concept of supervenience3 itself needs a defense, and a specific kind of supervenience4 must be identified in order to serve in the role suggested.
  2. To make my case, I must rely on recent literature that has discussed the body-mind problem in terms of the mind being a supervenient family of properties dependent upon the body (brain) and argue for the self being that which supervenes5 upon both the physical and the mental. The kind of supervenience6 that would support my version of the self, however, must be an asymmetrical and not a biconditional type of supervenience7 because the latter is extremely reductive in its implications. Thus, one must confront the work of Jaegwon Kim, who indeed asserts that supervenience8 must be understood as being biconditional. I perform an analysis of John Post's work on supervenience9 which supports the asymmetrical thesis, but Post's final position on the type of supervenience10 that is appropriate for the mind's dependency on the body is too weak for my understanding of the nature of the self.


Photocopy of complete Book filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 01 (A)".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Alexander (Ronald) - The Self, Supervenience and Personal Identity: Introduction", pp. 2-3.

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