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Oxford University Press, USA
Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation

Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation

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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.

Here, an eminent group of philosophers helps us answer this question. Their novel contributions comfortably span a number of current debates in philosophy and cognitive science: what is the nature of reduction, of reductive explanation, of mental causation? The contributions range from approaches in theoretical metaphysics, over philosophy of the special sciences and physics, to interdisciplinary studies in psychiatry and neurobiology. The authors connect strands in contemporary philosophy that are often treated separately and in combination the chapters allow the reader to see how issues of reduction, explanation and causation mutually constrain each other. The anthology therefore moves the debate further both at the level of contributions to specific debates and at the level of integrating insights from a number of debates.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199211531
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 11/15/2008
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jakob Hohwy obtained his PhD from the Australian National University. He is a lecturer in philosophy at Monash University, Melbourne. Hohwy works on issues of reduction and explanation in science, and engages in interdisciplinary research with neuroscientists and psychiatrists.

Jesper Kallestrup obtained his PhD from the University of St. Andrews. He is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and an associate fellow at Arché, the University of St. Andrews. Kallestrup works on issues of reduction, mental causation and the conceivability arguments in the philosophy of mind.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Jakob Hohwy and Jesper Kallestrup
1. Reduction and Embodied Cognition:Perspectives from Medicine and Psychiatry, Valerie Gray Hardcastle and Rosalyn Stewart
2. Real Reduction in Real Neuroscience: Metascience, Not Philosophy of Science (and Certainly Not Metaphysics!), John Bickle
3. Reduction in Real Life, Peter Godfrey-Smith
4. Group Agency and Supervenience, Christian List & Philip Pettit
5. Reduction and Reductive Explanation: Is One Possible without the Other?, Jaegwon Kim
6. CP Laws, Reduction, and Explanatory Pluralism, Peter Lipton
7. Must a Physicalist be a Microphysicalist?, David Papineau
8. Why There Is Anything except Physics, Barry Loewer
9. Multiple realisation: keeping it real, Louise Antony
10. Causation and determinable properties: on the efficacy of colour, shape and size, Tim Crane
11. The exclusion problem, the determination relation, and contrastive causation, Peter Menzies
12. Mental Causation and Neural Mechanisms, James Woodward
13. Distinctions in Distinction, Daniel Stoljar
14. Exclusion again, Karen Bennett

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