There are few more unsettling philosophical questions than this: 'what happens in attempts to reduce some properties to some other more fundamental properties?' Reflection on this question inevitably touches on very deep issues about ourselves, our own interactions with the world and each other, and our very understanding of what there is and what goes on around us. If we cannot command a clear view of these deep issues, then very many other debates in contemporary philosophy seem to lose traction - think of causation, laws of nature, explanation, consciousness, personal identity, intentionality, normativity, freedom, responsibility, justice, and so on. Reduction can easily seem to unravel our world. This book aims to answer this question. Its chapters span a number of current debates in philosophy and cognitive science: what is the nature of reduction, of reductive explanation, of mental causation? The chapters range from approaches in analytical metaphysics, over philosophy of the special sciences and physics, to interdisciplinary studies in psychiatry and neurobiology. The chapters connect strands in contemporary philosophy that are often treated separately, and in combination they show how issues of reduction, explanation, and causation mutually constrain each other.
|Publisher||Oxford University Press (OUP)|
|Number of pages||336|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2010|
- Laws of nature
- Mind-body problem
- Non-reductive physicalism
- Reductive explanation