Global supervenience without reducibility

Leuenberger, S. (2018) Global supervenience without reducibility. Journal of Philosophy, 115(8), pp. 389-422. (doi: 10.5840/jphil2018115824)

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Does the global supervenience of one class on another entail reductionism, in the sense that any property in the former class is definable from properties in the latter class? This question appears to be at the same time formally tractable and philosophically significant. It seems formally tractable because the concepts involved are susceptible to rigorous definition. It is philosophically significant because in a number of debates about inter-level relationships, there are prima facie plausible positions that presuppose that there is no such entailment: standard versions of non-reductive physicalism and of normative non-naturalism accept global supervenience while rejecting reductionism. I identify a gap in an influential argument for the entailment, due to Frank Jackson and Robert Stalnaker, and draw on the model theory of infinitary languages to argue that some globally supervening properties are not reducible.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leuenberger, Professor Stephan
Authors: Leuenberger, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Journal of Philosophy
Publisher:Journal of Philosophy
ISSN (Online):1939-8549
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Journal of Philosophy, Inc.
First Published:First published in The Journal of Philosophy 115(8):389-422
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
657701The Whole TruthStephan LeuenbergerArts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/M009610/1HU - PHILOSOPHY