Humean supervenience and rotating homogeneous matter
Callender (Craig)
Source: Mind, Volume 110, Number 437, 1 January 2001, pp. 25-44(20)
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary

Philosophers Index Abstract

    Humean supervenience1 (HS) is the thesis that everything supervenes2 upon the spatiotemporal distribution of local intrinsic qualities. A recent threat to HS, originating in thought experiments by Armstrong and Kripke, claims that the mere possibility of rotating homogeneous discs proves HS false. I argue that the rotating disc argument (RDA) fails. If I am right, Humeans needn't abandon or alter HS to make sense of rotating homogeneous discs. Homogeneous discs, as necessarily understood by RDA, are not the sorts of things in which we should believe. These discs do not belong in our ontology - not because there is a problem with their homogeneity, but (surprisingly) because there is a problem with their rotation. RDA is shown to be a kind of parody of classic arguments for spatial substantivalism.

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