PhilSci Archive

Abstraction and Explanatory Relevance, or Why Do the Special Sciences Exist?

Haug, Matthew C. (2010) Abstraction and Explanatory Relevance, or Why Do the Special Sciences Exist? In: UNSPECIFIED.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Haug_abstraction_relevance.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (185kB)

Abstract

Non-reductive physicalists have long held that the special sciences offer explanations of some phenomena that are objectively superior to physical explanations. This explanatory “autonomy” has largely been based on the multiple realizability argument. Recently, in the face of the local reduction and disjunctive property responses to multiple realizability, some defenders of non-reductive physicalism have suggested that autonomy can be grounded merely in human cognitive limitations. In this paper, I argue that this is mistaken. By distinguishing between two kinds of abstraction I show that the greater explanatory relevance of some special science predicates (to certain explananda) is both non-anthropocentric and not solely based on considerations of multiple realizability. This shows that the explanatory autonomy of the special sciences is safe from the local reduction and disjunctive property strategies, even if they are successful responses to the multiple realizability argument.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Haug, Matthew C.mchaug@wm.edu
Keywords: explanation; abstraction; reduction; non-reductive physicalism; multiple realization
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Matthew Haug
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2010 15:05
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2010 15:05
Item ID: 8382
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8382

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item