The Correlation Argument for Reductionism (2019)

Philosophy of Science 86: 76-97

Final Draft (Open Access)

doi.org/10.1086/701048 (Published Version - Requires Subscription)

Abstract: Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that if properties are individuated by their causal powers then, surprisingly, properties are individuated by necessary co-exemplification.