Document Type





Many philosophers would agree with the claim that the truths reported by the special sciences supervene on the ways the world is at the level of the fundamental particles of physics. At the least this supervenience claim denies independent variability for the truths of the special sciences—but many would add that the ways the world is, microphysically, generate all the special science truths. Call this “Global Supervenience on Microphysics”. What it is for a special science claim to be true, says GSM, just is for the world to be a certain way microphysically. But which way? The popular suggestion is that the microphysical truth-condition for a given special-science statement is whatever microphysical arrangement it is, that renders true the causal import of the special-science statement. I argue that there is no fact of the matter as to which microphysical arrangement this is, and conclude that GSM may be untenable.


The final and definitive version of this paper is forthcoming in Croatian Journal of Philosophy. This preliminary draft is posted here with the kind permission of Croatian Journal of Philosophy. Both versions are copyrighted: Copyright 2008, Crawford L. Elder.

Included in

Philosophy Commons