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SUPERVENIENCE, DETERMINATION, AND DEPENDENCE

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Abstract:

Abstract: 

I show how existing concepts of supervenience relate to two more fundamental ontological relations: determination and dependence. Determination says that the supervenient properties of a thing are a function of its base properties, while dependence says that having a supervenient property implies having a base property. I show that most varieties of supervenience are either determination relations or determination relations conjoined with dependence relations. In the process of unpacking these connections I identify limitations of existing concepts of supervenience and provide ways of overcoming them. What results is a more precise, flexible, and powerful set of tools for relating sets of properties than current concepts of supervenience provide. I apply these tools to a recalcitrant problem in the physicalism literature – the problem of extras.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0114.2007.00283.x

Affiliations: School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts University of California, Merced

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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