Journal Article

Supervenience, Dynamical Systems Theory, and Non-Reductive Physicalism

Jeffrey Yoshimi

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 63, issue 2, pages 373-398
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axr019
Supervenience, Dynamical Systems Theory, and Non-Reductive Physicalism

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It is often claimed (1) that levels of nature are related by supervenience, and (2) that processes occurring at particular levels of nature should be studied using dynamical systems theory. However, there has been little consideration of how these claims are related. To address the issue, I show how supervenience relations give rise to ‘supervenience functions’, and use these functions to show how dynamical systems at different levels are related to one another. I then use this analysis to describe a graded approach to non-reductive physicalism, and to critically assess Davidson’s arguments for psychological anomaly. I also show how this approach can inform empirical research in cognitive science.

1States and State Spaces

2The Supervenience Function and its Inverse

3Dynamical Systems Theory and Supervenience

4Inter-Level Relations and Non-Reductive Physicalism

5Davidson on Psychological Anomalism

6Symbolic Dynamics

Journal Article.  10502 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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