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4.4a. Psychophysical Supervenience (Psychophysical Supervenience on PhilPapers)

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Allen-Hermanson, Sean (2005). Morgan's Canon Revisited. Philosophy of Science 72 (4):608-31.   (Google)
Abstract: The famous ethological maxim known as “Morgan’s Canon” continues to be the subject of interpretive controversy. I reconsider Morgan’s canon in light of two questions: First, what did Morgan intend? Second, is this, or perhaps some re-interpretation of the canon, useful within cognitive ethology? As for the first issue, Morgan’s distinction between higher and lower faculties is suggestive of an early supervenience concept. As for the second, both the canon in its original form, and various recent re-readings, offer nothing useful to cognitive ethology.
Crane, Tim (1991). Why indeed? Papineau on supervenience. Analysis 51 (January):32-7.   (Cited by 16 | Annotation | Google)
Elugardo, Reinaldo (1988). Against weak psychophysical supervenience. Dialectica 42:129-43.   (Annotation | Google)
Harnad, Stevan (2000). Minds, machines and Turing: The indistinguishability of indistinguishables. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 9 (4):425-445.   (Cited by 35 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Turing's celebrated 1950 paper proposes a very general methodological criterion for modelling mental function: total functional equivalence and indistinguishability. His criterion gives rise to a hierarchy of Turing Tests, from subtotal ("toy") fragments of our functions (t1), to total symbolic (pen-pal) function (T2 -- the standard Turing Test), to total external sensorimotor (robotic) function (T3), to total internal microfunction (T4), to total indistinguishability in every empirically discernible respect (T5). This is a "reverse-engineering" hierarchy of (decreasing) empirical underdetermination of the theory by the data. Level t1 is clearly too underdetermined, T2 is vulnerable to a counterexample (Searle's Chinese Room Argument), and T4 and T5 are arbitrarily overdetermined. Hence T3 is the appropriate target level for cognitive science. When it is reached, however, there will still remain more unanswerable questions than when Physics reaches its Grand Unified Theory of Everything (GUTE), because of the mind/body problem and the other-minds problem, both of which are inherent in this empirical domain, even though Turing hardly mentions them
Hawley, Katherine (1998). Merricks on whether being conscious is intrinsic. Mind 107 (428):841-843.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Trenton Merricks argues against the following doctrine: Microphysical Supervenience (MS) Necessarily, if atoms A1 through An compose an object that exemplifies intrinsic qualitative properties Q1 through Qn, then atoms like A1 through An (in all their respective intrinsic qualitative properties), related to one another by all the same restricted atom-to-atom relations as A1 through An, compose an object that exemplifies Q1 through Qn. (Merricks 1998, p. 59) Imagine a person, _P_. Microphysical Supervenience entails that there is an object, the finger-complement, wholly composed of all of _P_'s atoms except those in _P_'s left index-finger. After all, when we slice off _P_'s finger, we leave atoms micro- indiscernible from those in the finger-complement, and _those_ atoms compose an object, maimed _P_. Moreover, if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic property, then Microphysical Supervenience entails that the finger-complement is conscious, for maimed _P_ is conscious. But this, argues Merricks, is "simply incredible". It cannot be the case that every large collection of _P_'s atoms forms a conscious object, for then there would be "a mighty host" of conscious objects sitting in _P_'s chair (Merricks 1998, p.63). Even if there is a finger-complement, it is not conscious. So _being_ _conscious_ does not supervene upon microphysical arrangements: if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic qualitative property then Microphysical Supervenience is false. Merricks argues that _being conscious_ is indeed intrinsic, and thus that Microphysical Supervenience _is_ false. He has two reasons for supposing _being conscious_ to be intrinsic, and I object to both of these
Hendel, Giovanna (2002). On what does the issue of supervenience and psychophysical dependence depend? Dialogue 41 (2):329-348.   (Google)
Hendel, Giovanna (2002). Psychophysical supervenience: Digging in its foundations. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:115-141.   (Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1979). Causality, identity and supervenience in the mind-body problem. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4:31-49.   (Cited by 26 | Annotation | Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1982). Psychophysical supervenience. Philosophical Studies 41 (January):51-70.   (Cited by 48 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1982). Psychophysical supervenience as a mind-body theory. Cognition and Brain Theory 5:129-47.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1997). Supervenience, emergence, and realization in the philosophy of mind. In Martin Carrier & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Mindscapes: Philosophy, Science, and the Mind. Pittsburgh University Press.   (Cited by 18 | Google)
Kovacs, David Mark (2010). Is there a conservative solution to the many thinkers problem? Ratio 23 (3):275-290.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: On a widely shared assumption, our mental states supervene on our microphysical properties – that is, microphysical supervenience is true. When this thesis is combined with the apparent truism that human persons have proper parts, a grave difficulty arises: what prevents some of these proper parts from being themselves thinkers as well? How can I know that I am a human person and not a smaller thinker enclosed in a human person? Most solutions to this puzzle make radical, if not absurd, claims. Recently, however, Michael Burke and Howard Robinson proposed conservative solutions that, according to them, do not have such undesired consequences. This paper argues that the conservative solutions tacitly assume at least one of the radical ones, and therefore they provide no alternative to the extreme solutions
Lewis, Harry A. (1985). Is the mental supervenient on the physical? In Bruce Vermazen & Merrill B. Hintikka (eds.), Essays on Davidson. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Loar, Brian (1993). Can we confirm supervenient properties? Philosophical Issues 4:74-92.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Macdonald, C. (1995). Psychophysical supervenience, dependency, and reduction. In Elias E. Savellos & U. Yalcin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Mellor, D. H. (1993). Supervenience? No chance! Reply to Menuge. Analysis 53 (4):236-239.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Merricks, Trenton (1998). Against the doctrine of microphysical supervenience. Mind 107 (425):59-71.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The doctrine of Microphysical Supervenience (MS) states that: Necessarily, if atoms A1 through An compose an object that exemplified intrinsic qualitative properties Q1 through Qn, then atoms like A1 through An (in all their respective intrinsic qualitative properties), related to one another by all the same restricted atom-to-atom relations as A1 through An, compose an object that exemplifies Q1 through Qn. I show that MS entails a contradiction and so must be rejected. And my argument against MS provides the resources to show that Global Microphysical Supervenience (GMS) is false. GMS states that possible worlds qualitatively exactly alike at the microphysical level are qualitatively exactly alike at the macrophysical level
Merricks, Trenton (2003). Maximality and consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):150-158.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Merricks, Trenton (1998). On whether being conscious is intrinsic. Mind 107 (428):845-846.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Noonan, Harold W. (1999). Identity, constitution and microphysical supervenience. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (3):273-288.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Noonan, Harold W. (1999). Microphysical supervenience and consciousness. Mind 108 (432):755-9.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Papineau, David (1995). Arguments for supervenience and physical realization. In Elias E. Savellos & U. Yalcin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Papineau, David (1991). The reason why: Response to Crane. Analysis 51 (January):37-40.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Papineau, David (1989). Why supervenience? Analysis 49 (2):66-71.   (Cited by 20 | Annotation | Google)
Sider, T. (2003). Maximality and microphysical supervenience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):139-149.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A property, F, is maximal i?, roughly, large parts of an F are not themselves Fs. Maximal properties are typically extrinsic, for their instantiation by x depends on what larger things x is part of. This makes trouble for a recent argument against microphysical superve- nience by Trenton Merricks. The argument assumes that conscious- ness is an intrinsic property, whereas consciousness is in fact maximal and extrinsic
von Wachter, Daniel (2009). What Kind of Modality Does the Materialist Need for his Supervenience Claim? In Alexander Battyany & E. Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness. Winter.   (Google)
Abstract: Materialists who do not deny the existence of mental phenomena usually claim that the mental supervenes on the physical, i.e. that there cannot be a change in the mental life of a man without there being a change in the man's body. This modal claim is usually understood in terms of logical necessity. I argue that this is a mistake, resulting from assumptions inherited from logical empiricism, and that it should be understood in terms of synthetic necessity.
Witmer, D. Gene (1998). What is wrong with the manifestability argument for supervenience? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):84-89.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)