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Non-reductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle

List, Christian ORCID: 0000-0003-1627-800X and Menzies, Peter (2008) Non-reductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle. . Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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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:
Additional Information: © 2008 Christian List and Peter Menzies
Divisions: Government
Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BC Logic
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2008 15:43
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:45

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