On 28 Dec 2011, at 22:04, Russell Standish wrote:

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 12:23:43PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:

But SUP-COMP is not identical to SUP-PHYS, which is also not identical
to SUP-PRIMITIVE-PHYS.


The philosopher of mind uses just (weak) supervenience in the sense
of (weak) SUP-PRIMITIVE-PHYS.

Some conflate SUP-PRIMITIVE-PHYS with SUP-PHYS, others do
not. SUP-PRIMITIVE-PHYS roughly correlates with what is called "naive
Physicalism" in my bool, and SUP-PHYS (the usual meaning of
supervenience) with materialism. Looking back at my notes (helpfully
summarised on page 177 of my book), I see I noted that Chalmers
conflates physicalism with materialism, but other such as Lockwood do
draw the distinction.

This probably explains some of the problems I had with Chalmers's
classification scheme. ISTM, for example, that emergence (even strong
emergence, AKA downward causation) is perfectly compatible with
materialism, even though Chalmers lists emergentism as being an
immaterial position.

Supervenience is a tricky notion. Like causality, deduction, entailment, and even implication, it is easy to mix the subject and the object, or to add modal nuances when there are none, in some use of those terms. Supervenience, once formalized, is a typically modal notion. The literature on it is very confusing. The stanford entry is not so bad (but not simple), and describe both the weak and the strong forms, the strong form having only one box more. What strikes me is that they take physicalism for granted, both in the illustrations and in the applications which consist in using supervenience to define physicalism. It seems to occur to no one that physicalness *might* supervene on something else. I will try to write something clear on this. It might certainly help to get the essence of MGA/Maudlin type of deduction.

Of course we could also interview the LUMs on this, but this needs the extension of G and G* to the first order qG and qG* (with quantifiers), which are not decidable theories and can lead to very complex questions (qG*, which represent a bigger portion of the "Noùs", is not even complete with Arithmetical Truth as oracle, as shown by the Russian logicians. This is also proved in Boolos 1993. God is overwhelmed by its creation! This means we cannot reasonably count on the LUMs to verify MGA from some arithmetical definition of supervenience in qG*/arithmetic. That notion is intrinsically difficult which is a good news for those who like to cut the airs!

But the conversation here has been very useful indeed. And it is not finished!

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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