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Levels of Description and Levels of Reality: A General Framework

List, Christian (2023) Levels of Description and Levels of Reality: A General Framework. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This expository paper presents a general framework for representing levels and inter-level relations. The framework is intended to capture both epistemic and ontological notions of levels and to clarify the sense in which levels of explanation might or might not be related to a levelled ontology. The framework also allows us to study and compare different kinds of inter-level relations, especially supervenience and reduction but also grounding and mereological constitution. This, in turn, enables us to explore questions such as whether supervenience implies explanatory reducibility and whether there can be irreducible higher-level explanations or even “emergent” higher-level properties. The paper finally discusses some further philosophical applications: to the free-will debate, the determinism-indeterminism distinction, indexicality and consciousness, and the relationship between positive and normative facts.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
List, Christian
Keywords: Levels of description, levels of explanation, levels of reality, supervenience, reduction, grounding, constitution, emergence
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Christian List
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 19:43
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 19:43
Item ID: 22550
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 13 September 2023
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22550

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