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Non-reductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle

List, Christian and Menzies, Peter (2008) Non-reductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle. Government Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

It is often argued that higher-level special-science properties cannot be causally efficacious since the lower-level physical properties on which they supervene are doing all the causal work. This claim is usually derived from an exclusion principle stating that if a higherlevel property F supervenes on a physical property F* that is causally sufficient for a property G, then F cannot cause G. We employ an account of causation as differencemaking to show that the truth or falsity of this principle is a contingent matter and derive necessary and sufficient conditions under which a version of it holds. We argue that one important instance of the principle, far from undermining non-reductive physicalism, actually supports the causal autonomy of certain higher-level properties.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/list/default.htm
Additional Information: © 2008 Christian List and Peter Menzies
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BC Logic
Sets: Departments > Government
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2008 15:43
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20118/

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