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Beyond ReductionPhilosophy of Mind and Post-Reductionist Philosophy of Science$
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Steven Horst

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195317114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195317114.001.0001

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Reduction and Supervenience

Reduction and Supervenience

The Contemporary Problematic in Philosophy of Mind

(p.23) 2 Reduction and Supervenience
Beyond Reduction

Steven Horst (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the contemporary conversation in philosophy of mind. Reductionists claim the mind can or must be reducible to natural phenomena. Eliminativists claim the mind cannot be so reduced and that this implies that our mentalistic categories should be eliminated in favor of a more naturalistic vocabulary. Dualists point to an explanatory gap between mind and nature and argue that this implies the mind is not reducible to something else, and that this entails either substance or property dualism. Mysterians agree that the mind is irreducible but trace this to a limitation of our ability to understand mind‐body relations. Nonreductive materialists also reject reduction but hold that the mind is nothing over and above a set of natural phenomena. All of these views share the assumption that intertheoretic reduction is the norm in the natural sciences, and this assumption motivates both reductionism and the idea that the explanatory gap poses a unique and disturbing problem.

Keywords:   reduction, reductionism, eliminativism, dualism, Mysterianism, explanatory gap

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