eCite Digital Repository

Does the supervenience argument generalize?


Bliss, S and Fernandez, J, Does the supervenience argument generalize?, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49, (4) pp. 321-346. ISSN 0038-4283 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 The University of Memphis

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00080.x


We evaluate the scope of Jaegwon Kim's "supervenience argument" for reduction. Does its conclusion apply only to psychology, or does it generalize to all the special sciences? The claim that the supervenience argument generalizes to all the special sciences if it goes through for psychology is often raised as an objection to the supervenience argument. We argue that this objection is ambiguous. We distinguish three readings of it and suggest that some of them make it a plausible claim, whereas other readings make it implausible. We suggest that this ambiguity is the result of picturing the world as being hierarchically organized in levels, with the domain of physics at the bottom and the domains of the social sciences at the top. The plausibility of the objection depends on how we think of this picture. This popular picture, we suggest, involves three different dimensions along which reduction may occur.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Bliss, S (Dr Suzy Bliss)
ID Code:94349
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-09-06
Last Modified:2014-12-22

Repository Staff Only: item control page