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1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Terence Horgan, Brian P. McLaughlin

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part i: reduction and the mental

2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Brian P. McLaughlin

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Jaegwon Kim, in “‘Supervenient and Yet Not Deducible’: Is There a Coherent Concept of Ontological Emergence?” (2009), attempts to show that C.D. Broad’s conception of metaphysical emergence is incoherent. I argue that Kim’s attempt fails because he fails to recognize that trans-ordinal laws, in Broad’s sense, are supposed to be ontologically fundamental laws. Broad’s conception of metaphysical emergence is coherent, though it is another issue (one I do not address here) whether anything in fact answers to it.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Kevin Morris

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Jaegwon Kim argued that nonreductive physicalism faces the “exclusion problem” for higher- level causation, mental causation in particular. Roughly, the charge is that given the presumptive ubiquity of physical causation, there cannot be irreducible mental causes for physical effects. Since there are mental causes, Kim concluded that nonreductive physicalism should be rejected in favor of a more reductionist alternative according to which mental causes are just physical causes differently described. But why should mental causes be “excluded” in this way? Unfortunately, Kim had less to say about this than one might expect. After reviewing some of Kim’s proposals, I suggest that the exclusion problem should be premised on nothing more or less than Occamist, simplicity-based considerations. I apply this conception of the exclusion problem to some prominent responses to Kim’s critique of nonreductive physicalism and argue that this conception mandates reconsidering the success of these responses.
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Alyssa Ney

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Among the arguments that have been proposed for physicalism, the “causal argument” is widely taken to be the most compelling. Justin Tiehen (2015) has raised an interesting objection to this argument that takes the form of a dilemma. Tiehen’s ultimate conclusion is that at best, the causal argument is circular and so its premises cannot provide support for its conclusion, physicalism. The aim of the present paper is to respond to Tiehen’s objection in order to provide a defense of the causal argument.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Gerhard Preyer, Erwin Rogler

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It is part of Jaegwon. Kim’s life’s work that he has demonstrated that non-reductive physicalism is not an option in the philosophy of the mental. However, he also recognizes the problems of mentalism that cannot be solved by physicalism. This concerns above all phenomenal consciousness, which resists naturalization. In the philosophy of the mental, this addresses a very fundamental problem of what the place of the mental is in the physical world. It is Kim’s merit in the philosophy of the mental to have shown non-reductive physicalism to be contradictory and qualitative experience to have shown its place as a phenomenon that cannot be explained physically. But Kim wants to be a physicalist and functionalist at the same time. For this he describes his position as “physicalism, or something near enough”. It is to Kim’s credit that he has presented non-reductive physicalism as a variation of British emergentism. But this raises a very fundamental problem, whether this is a valid research program of systematization of mental experience or whether it needs another research program.

part ii: nonreductive physicalism?

6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Ronald Endicott

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Functional reduction follows two familiar steps: a definition of a higher-level or special science property in terms of a functional role, then a statement describing a physical property that plays or occupies that role. But Kim (2005) adds a third step, namely, an explanation regarding how the physical property occupies the functional role. I think Kim is correct. But how is the third step satisfied? An examination of the pertinent scientific explanations reveals that the third step is best satisfied by a multiple-subject, part-whole explanation, which is to say, a decomposition of the occupier’s causal capacities or relations. This is true even in cases wherein role and occupant properties are identical, for an occupier’s causal capacities are always underwritten by a part-whole explanation. As a consequence, functional reduction is transformed into a larger picture that at bottom always contains multiple layers of distinct, nonidentical properties that divide between parts and their whole systems. I call it “Part-Based Functional Reduction.” My aim is to develop this larger picture of reduction.
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Ausonio Marras

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The aim of this paper is provide a reassessment of Nonreductive Physicalism (NP) as a position in philosophy of mind in view of influential critiques of some of its central assumptions and implications. First, I undertake to explicate NP’s foundational concepts and metaphysical commitments in the attempt to establish NP’s internal coherence. Second, I defend NP against an attempt to discredit its theoretical plausibility by responding to what is perhaps the most powerful argument against NP, namely, Jaegwon Kim’s argument to the effect that the very principles of NP commit NP to epiphenomenalism.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Joseph Mendola

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The theses and arguments with which Jaegwon Kim was most identified all crucially involve properties. Events are said to be exemplification of properties by objects at times. Supervenience, despite its many varieties, is a relation between families of properties, such that there is no difference in supervening properties without a difference in subvening, base properties. The so-called ‘supervenience’ or ‘causal exclusion’ argument is directed against nonreductive physicalism, which denies the identity of physical and mental properties. It concludes that if physicalism is true, then mental properties are only causally efficacious when they are identical to physical properties. But despite all the work properties do for Kim, there is little in his writing regarding traditional ontological views about properties, and he sometimes makes claims about property identity that are puzzling and hard to square with other claims he makes. This paper probes this neglected corner of his work, especially in regard to the supervenience argument and the fate of nonreductive physicalism.
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
David Pineda-Oliva

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In this contribution, I critically discuss the thesis, advanced by some recent writers, that nonreductive physicalists can solve the problem of causal exclusion by resorting to the metaphysical notion of grounding. After discussing the many problems confronted by very recent versions of this proposal, I conclude that a version of Nonreductive Physicalism framed in terms of a notion of realization of properties is in a better position than Grounding Physicalism in order to successfully deal with a notoriously complex metaphysical issue such as the causal exclusion problem.

part iii: state of the art

10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
David Henderson, Terry Horgan, Matjaž Potrč, Vojko Strahovnik

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In our work we have drawn attention to an aspect of conscious experience that we have labeled chromatic illumination, which consists of conscious appreciation of a large body of background information, and of the holistic relevance of this information to a cognitive task that is being consciously undertaken, without that information being represented by any conscious, occurrent, intentional mental state. We have also characterized the prototypical causal role of chromatic-illumination features of conscious intentional states, and we have detailed the specific kind of physical-to-mental supervenience situation that would need to obtain in order for a chromatically illuminated conscious intentional state to figure as a supervenient mental cause of one’s subsequent cognition and behavior. In this paper we answer two residual questions. The first is a “How possible?” question, asking whether such a supervenience scenario is really a coherent conceptual possibility, given that it posits a putative conscious feature of conscious experience that allegedly plays a conscious causal role that supposedly constitutes conscious appreciation of information not being consciously represented. The second is a “How plausible?” question, asking whether the details of such a physical-to-mental supervenience scenario can be spelled out in a way that makes actually plausible the claim that chromatic illumination actually gets physically implemented this way in the human brain. We argue that the supervenient causal efficacy of chromatically illuminated conscious experience is not only a genuine conceptual possibility, but also very plausibly can really occur in humans.
11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Christopher S. Hill

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Jaegwon Kim relied principally on armchair methods in approaching problems in philosophy of mind. This paper is concerned with the nature of such methods and their prospects of success. Identifying the main armchair methods as introspection, modal reasoning involving conceivability tests, and conceptual analysis, the paper argues that insofar as the first two members of this trio aim to reveal the constitutive metaphysical natures of mental states, they are unable to reach their objective. In contrast, it defends conceptual analysis, arguing that Quine’s attempt to discredit it fails. More specifically, it maintains that a certain form of conceptual role semantics is immune to Quine’s strictures against meaning, and that this conception of meaning allows room for armchair discoveries about the meanings of our words (though it has no tendency to provide access to deep facts about the constitutive metaphysical natures of extralinguistic entities).
12. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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14. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39
Gerhard Preyer

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15. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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16. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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17. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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18. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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19. ProtoSociology: Volume > 39

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20. ProtoSociology: Volume > 38
Gerhard Preyer, Georg Peter, Reuss-Markus Krausse

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