SUPERVENIENCE, DETERMINATION, AND DEPENDENCE
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
Affiliations: School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts University of California, Merced
Publication date: March 1, 2007