Philosophical Perspectives, 11, Mind, Causation, and World, 1997
THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM: TAKING STOCK AFTER FORTY YEARS
Jaegwon Kim Brown University
It has been just about forty years since J.J.C. Smart’s “Sensations and Brain Processes” and Herbert Feigl’s “ The ‘Mental’ and the ‘Physical’ ” 1 appeared, both independently proposing an approach to the status of mind that has come to be variously called “the mind-body identity thesis”, “central-state materialism”, “type physicalism”, and “the brain state theory”. Although Smart, in particular, had been anticipated by U.T. Place’s “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”,2 published in 1956, it was arguably the two papers by Smart and Feigl that reintroduced the mind-body problem into mainstream metaphysics, and launched the vigorous debate that has continued to this day. True, Ryle’s The Concept of Mind was out in 1948, and there were of course Wittgenstein’s much discussed reflections on mentality and mental discourse, not to mention a much earlier and neglected classic, C.D. Broad’s The Mind and Its Place In Nature (1925).3 But it is fair to say that Ryle’s and Wittgenstein’s primary concerns were directed at the logic of psychological language rather than the metaphysical problem of explaining how our mentality is related to our physical nature, and that Broad’s work, although robustly metaphysical, failed to connect with the mind-body debate in the second half of this century, especially in its critical early stages. For many of us, the brain-state theory was our first encounter with the mindbody problem. The theory sounded refreshingly bold and tough-minded, and in tune with the optimistic scientific temper of the times. Why can’t mentality just turn out to be brain processes just as light turned out to be electromagnetic radiation and the gene turned out to be the DNA molecule? As we all know, the brain-state theory was surprisingly short-lived—its precipitous decline began only several years after its initial promulgation. It is clear in retrospect, though, that in spite of its brief life, the theory made one crucial and fundamental contribution which has outlasted its reign as a theory of the mind. What I have in mind is the fact that the brain-state theory helped set the basic parameters for the debates that were to follow—the broadly physicalist assumptions and aspirations that still guide and constrain our thinking today. One indication of this is the fact that when
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the brain state theory began fading away in the late ’60s and early ’70s we didn’t lapse back into Cartesianism or other serious forms of dualism. Almost all the participants in the debate stayed within a broadly physicalist framework, and even those who had a major hand in the demise of the Smart-Feigl materialism continued their allegiance to a physicalist worldview. And this fact has played a central role in defining our Problematik: Through the ’70s and ’80s and down to the present, the mind-body problem—our mind-body problem—has been that of finding a place for the mind in a world that is fundamentally and essentially physical. If C.D. Broad were writing his 1925 book today, he might well have titled it “ The Place of the Mind in the Physical World”. What made the demise of the mind-brain identity theory so quick and seemingly painless, causing few regrets among philosophers, was the fact that the principal objection that spelled its doom, the multiple realization argument advanced by Hilary Putnam,4 contained within it seeds for an attractive alternative theory, namely functionalism. The core thesis of functionalism, that mental kinds are functional kinds, not physical kinds, was an appealing and eye-opening idea that seemed to help us make sense of “cognitive science”, which was being launched about the same time. The functionalist approach to mentality seemed tailor-made for the new science of mentality and cognition, for it appeared to postulate a distinctive domain of mental/cognitive properties that could be scientifically investigated independently of their physical/biological implementations—an idea that promised both legitimacy and autonomy for psychology as a science. Functionalism made it possible for us to shed the restrictive constraints of physicalist reductionism without returning to the discredited dualisms of Descartes and others. Or so it seemed at the time. The functionalist conception of mentality still is “the official story” about the nature and foundation of cognitive science.5 But functionalists, by and large, were not metaphysicians, and few of them were self-consciously concerned about just what functionalism entailed about the mind-body problem.6 The key term they used to describe the relation between mental properties (kinds, states, etc.) and physical properties was “realization” (or sometimes “implementation”, “execution”, etc.): mental properties are “realized” or “implemented” by (or in) physical properties, though not identical with, or reducible to, or definable in terms of them. But the term “realization” was introduced 7 and quickly gained wide currency, chiefly on the basis of computational analogies (in particular, Turing machines being realized in physical computers), and few functionalists, especially in the early days of functionalism, made an explicit effort to explain what the realization relation consisted in—what this relation implied in terms of the traditional options on the mind-body problem. I believe that the idea of “supervenience” came to the fore in the ’70s and ’80s, in part to fill this void. The doctrine that mental properties are supervenient on physical properties seemed perfectly to meet the needs of the post-reductionist physicalist in search of a metaphysics of mind; for it promised to give a clear and
emergentism was regarded with undisguised suspicion. As is by now well known. and the roles they play. not only in serious philosophical writings 10 but in primary scientific literature in many fields. seemingly in the sense intended by the classic emergentists. It is convenient to construe supervenience as a relation between two sets of properties. more importantly. in the context of the mindbody problem.11 To sum up. By the mid-’70s. My discussion will not be historical but reconstructive and philosophical—an old-fashioned “rational reconstruction” if you like. Many philosophers. and the like. “emergent phenomenon”. more generally. and the idea that the mental is “emergent” from the physical. especially those who had been persuaded by the multiple realization argument to embrace antireductionism (and this included almost all the functionalists).The Mind-Body Problem / 187
sturdy sense to the primacy of the physical domain and its laws. This position. what Ned Block has aptly called “an antireductionist consensus” 8 was firmly in place. One side effect of the entrenchment of the antireductionist consensus has been the return of emergentism—if not the full-fledged doctrine of classic emergentism of the 1920s and ’30s. “emergent characteristic”. the supervenient properties and their base properties. at least its characteristic vocabulary and slogans. three ideas have been prominently on the scene in recent discussions of the mind-body relation: the idea that the mental is “realized” by the physical. by allowing multiple physical bases for supervenient mental properties. With reductionist physicalism out of favor. it was able to accommodate the multiple realizability of mental properties as well. and do this without implying physical reductionism. Further. thereby protecting the mental as a distinctive and autonomous domain. When positivism and the idea of “unity of science” ruled. has been the most influential and widely shared view not only about the mind-body relation but. sought in mind-body supervenience a satisfying metaphysical statement of physicalism without reductionism. Thus. about the relationship between “higher-level” properties and their underlying “lowerlevel” properties in other domains as well. the idea that the mental “supervenes” on the physical.9 and we now see an increasing and unapologetic use of terms like “emergence”. and. emergentism appears to be making a strong comeback. in the context of formulating and discussing some issues concerning the interlevel relationships of properties. the approach yielded as a bonus a general philosophical view about how the special sciences are related to basic physics. a variety of supervenience relations is
. standardly called “nonreductive physicalism”. I Let us begin with supervenience. thereby vindicating the fundamental physicalist commitments of most functionalists. “emergent cause”. In this paper I want to explore the interplay of these three ideas. as a mysterious and incoherent metaphysical doctrine.
and use one or the other to suit the context. in some sense. This relation is defined as follows: Set A of properties (strongly) supervenes on set B of properties just in case. It has become customary to associate supervenience with the idea of dependence or determination: if the mental supervenes on the physical. what gets determined by it. or determination. as a matter of necessity. Sometimes. it cannot be that y in turn depends on or is determined by x. ontologically prior to. We will therefore consider them equivalent. for our purposes we can focus on what is called “strong supervenience”. The relation of dependence. this is put in terms of “worlds”: the psychological character of a world is determined entirely by its physical character—as it is often put. I do not believe that for our purposes anything of philosophical significance hinges on whatever differences there might exist between these two formulations. or the physical determines the mental. if anything instantiates M.188 / Jaegwon Kim
available. whether it is metaphysical. some may do so with metaphysical necessity. there exists a property G in B such that the thing has G. or “base property”. Under certain plausible (but not uncontested) assumptions concerning property composition. is asymmetric: if x depends on. In the case of mind-body supervenience it may even be that some mental properties supervene on their physical bases with logical/conceptual necessity. on physical properties. for M. then for any mental property M there is a physical “supervenience base”. if anything has F. That is. roughly in the sense that the mentality of a thing is entirely fixed by its physical nature. If mental properties supervene. the mental is dependent on the physical. y. What does the determining must be taken to be. different interpretations of necessity. and necessarily anything that has G has F. The modal force of “necessarily” here need not be specified in advance. logical. or is determined by. B-indiscernibility entails A-indiscernibility. will yield different supervenience theses. in the sense explained. and perhaps others only with nomological necessity. it instantiates a certain physical property P such that necessarily anything that has P has M. worlds that are physically indiscernible are psychologically indiscernible (or indiscernible tout court). for any property F in A. necessarily. supervenience defined this way (sometimes called “the modal operator definition”) can be shown to be equivalent to the more familiar explanation of supervenience (sometimes called “the possible world” or “indiscernibility” definition) which goes like this: A-properties (strongly) supervene on B-properties just in case necessarily any two things (in the same or different possible worlds) indiscernible in B-properties are indiscernible in A-properties—more simply. P such that P is sufficient. But supervenience as
. or nomological. or more basic than.
both emergentism and the view that the mental is exclusively physically realized— that is. As we will shortly see.13 Brief reflection shows that the answer is no. two sets of properties may show the required covariance because each depends on a third. which reductively identifies mental properties with physical properties. There is a long-standing controversy concerning whether supervenience. or whether dependence/determination must be taken as an independent primitive. that mind-body supervenience by itself cannot constitute a theory of the mind-body relation. then. bypass this issue. What is more obvious. that what might be called “supervenience physicalism” is a possible position to take on the mind-body problem. somewhat in the manner in which two collateral effects of the single cause exhibit a pattern of lawful correlation. is consistent with the irreducibility of the supervenient properties to their subvenient bases. But emergentism is a form of dualism that takes mental properties to be nonphysical intrinsic causal powers. We may. is a monistic physicalism. we will follow the customary usage and understand supervenience to incorporate the component of dependence/determination. and focus on the question whether or not supervenience as such can be considered an account of the mind-body relation. What needs to be added to property covariance to get dependence or determination. mind-body supervenience is a trivial consequence of type physicalism. it is in fact a shared commitment of many mutually exclusionary mind-body theories. There are at least two reasons for this. that must be because they are different in some physical respect—it must be because the physical cause of the mental respect involved is present in one and absent from the other. The definition simply states a pattern of covariance between the two property sets. in the sense of strong supervenience. In fact. there are no nonphysical realizations of mental properties (we can call this “physical realizationism”)—imply mind-body supervenience.The Mind-Body Problem / 189
defined above isn’t asymmetric. mind-body supervenience is consistent with a host of classic positions on the mind-body problem. Suppose. If mind-body supervenience is a commitment of each of these conflicting approaches to the mind-body problem. Even epiphenomenalism is committed to supervenience: If two things differ in some mental respect. Do we have here a possible account of how our mentality is related to the physical nature of our being? That is.14 What this shows is that the mere fact (assuming it is a fact) of mind-body supervenience leaves open the question of what grounds or accounts for it—that
.12 In this paper. and such covariances can occur in the absence of a metaphysical dependence or determination relation. are deep and difficult questions that need not be pursued here. can we use supervenience itself to state a philosophical theory of the way minds are related to bodies? It has sometimes been thought that the answer is yes. that the mental supervenes on the physical. the supervenience of A on B does not exclude the supervenience of B on A. whereas physical realizationism. First. For example. as I will argue. however. common expressions like “supervenience base” or “base property” already include a presumption of asymmetric dependence. it cannot itself be a position on this issue alongside these classic alternatives.
consider normative supervenience. naturalistic properties. maintaining that evaluative or normative properties must have nonnormative descriptive criteria. should not be taken to be entirely. Ethical intuitionists. Yet it is wholly silent on the nature of the dependence relation that might explain why the mental supervenes on the physical. epiphenomenalism can invoke the causal relation (the “same cause. or even significantly. mind-body supervenience is entailed by the view that mental properties are “second-order” properties defined over first-order physical properties. as we will see. According to ethical naturalism. If this is right. nonevaluative properties. Any putative solution to the problem must. Similarly in the mind-body case we can think of different mind-body theories as offering competing explanations of mind-body supervenience: the explanation offered by type physicalism is parallel to the naturalistic explanation of normative supervenience—mind-body supervenience holds because mentality is physically reducible and mental properties turn out to be physical properties after all. We expect mind-body theories to be explanatory theories. however. same effect” principle) to explain supervenience. would see normative supervenience as a primitive synthetic a priori fact not susceptible to further explanation. being only a phenomenological relation about patterns of property covariation. Hare. that is. the supervenience holds because normative properties are definable in terms of nonnormative. Emergentism. mind-body supervenience states the mind-body problem—it is not a solution to it. and on physical realizationism. it is something we directly apprehend through our moral sense. it merely states a pattern of property covariation between the mental and the physical. Another way of putting the point would be this: Supervenience itself is not a type of dependence relation—it is not a relation that can be placed alongside causal dependence. that mind-body supervenience itself is not an explanatory theory. like G. explanatory relation. then.15 To see the general issue involved here. mereological dependence. We must conclude. would attempt to explain it as a form of a consistency condition essential to the regulative character of the language of commending and prescribing.M. Moore. And so on. with “natural piety”. something that should be accepted.E. Various metaethical positions accept normative supervenience but offer differing accounts of its source. Still others may try to explain it as arising from the very concept of normative evaluation. and the like. R. It is not a metaphysically deep. and points to the existence of a dependency relation between the two. normative properties turn out to be naturalistic properties. These considerations. specify a dependence relation that grounds mind-body supervenience. In contrast. why the supervenience relation obtains between the mental and the physical. at a minimum.190 / Jaegwon Kim
is. a noncognitivist. the widely accepted doctrine that normative or evaluative properties supervene on nonnormative. as Samuel Alexander said. dependence grounded in definability or entailment. takes mind-body supervenience as a brute fact not further explainable. deflationary about the utility of supervenience in philosophy of
. like ethical intuitionism.
into entities belonging to the lower levels. II Cartesian substance dualism pictures the world as consisting of two independent spheres. consciousness and other mental properties make their appearance at the level of higher organisms. inflammability. density. mind-body supervenience can serve as a useful dividing line: it defines minimal physicalism. an idea that can be shared by many diverse positions on the mind-body problem. there is also a positive message here: Mindbody supervenience captures a commitment common to all approaches to the nature of mentality that are basically physicalistic. molecules. are ontologically independent of those of the other.16 Thus. emergence. and has exerted a powerful and pervasive influence on the way we formulate problems and discuss
. The bottom level is usually thought to consist of elementary particles. Descartes’ dualism.. and the like. but entities in each domain. reductionism. and so on. unconstrained by the physical domain. the status of the special sciences. Although they quash the hope that supervenience itself might give us an account of the mind-body relation. without remainder. In contrast. and it is metaphysically possible for one domain to exist in the total absence of the other. viscosity. and the like. The ordering relation that generates the hierarchical structure is the mereological relation: entities belonging to a given level. the mental and the material. For much of this century.The Mind-Body Problem / 191
mind. What then of the properties of these entities? It is part of this layered model that at each level there are properties. There are causal interactions across the domains. among the characteristic properties of the molecular level are electrical conductivity. organized in a hierarchical structure. if only implicit. For it represents the idea that mentality is at bottom physically based. and functions that make their first appearance at that level (we may call them the “characteristic properties” of that level). we find atoms. activities and functions like metabolism and reproduction are among the characteristic properties of the cellular and higher biological levels. activities. mind-body supervenience is inconsistent with radical forms of dualism. being “substances”. Entities at the bottom level have no physically significant proper parts. Thus. or “tiers”. except those at the very bottom. background for debates on the mind-body problem. which allow the mental world to float freely. cells. “orders”. from reductive type physicalism at one extreme to dualistic emergentism and epiphenomenalism at the other. or whatever our best physics is going tell us are the basic bits of matter out of which all material things are composed.17 As we go up the ladder.g. have an exhaustive decomposition. each with its own distinctive defining properties (consciousness and spatial extendedness respectively). What has replaced this picture of a dichotomized world is the familiar multi-layered model that views the world as stratified into different “levels”. a layered picture of the world like this has formed an omnipresent. larger living organisms. e.
You may attempt to give a single uniform answer applicable to all pairs of adjacent levels. Some of the wellknown major alternatives include reductionism. biological properties in relation to physicochemical properties) and defend an antireductionist stance concerning properties at other levels (say. or you might restrict the reductionist claim to certain selected levels (say. Talk of levels of descriptions. are irreducible.192 / Jaegwon Kim
their solutions. to those at the lower levels? How are biological (“vital”) properties related to physicochemical properties? How are consciousness and intentionality related to biological/physical properties? How are social phenomena. for example. functionalism. to lower-level properties. belonging to level L. are reducible (say. the layered model is couched in terms of concepts and languages instead of entities in the world and their properties. Possible answers to these questions define the classic philosophical options on the issues involved. emergentism. you might argue that properties at every level (higher than the bottom level) are reducible. phenomena characteristic of social groups. and the like is encountered everywhere—it has thoroughly pervaded primary scientific literature as well as philosophical writings about science. concerning mental properties. something like the following emerges as a general schema of supervenience claims about properties at a given level (other than the lowest one) in relation to properties at a lower level: For any x and y. methodological individualism. including propositional attitudes. mental properties). How do we explain the idea of microindiscernibility? The following seems pretty natural and straightforward: 19 x and y are microindiscernible iff for every decomposition D of x into proper parts there is an isomorphic decomposition C of y in the following sense:
. in some clear and substantial sense. antireductionism. if x and y are indiscernible in relation to properties at all levels lower than L (or. neo-vitalism. And it isn’t even necessary to give a uniform answer in regard to all characteristic properties of a given level. of explanations. these are among the fundamental questions of philosophy of science. and philosophy of mind. Sometimes. and the like.18 Now we come to a crucial question: How are the characteristic properties of a given level related to the properties at the adjacent levels—in particular. it is possible to hold that phenomenal or sensory properties. or you may take different positions regarding different levels. Let us now look at the layered model with supervenience in mind: when supervenience is superposed on the layered model. metaphysics. then x and y are indiscernible with respect to all properties at level L. x and y are microindiscernible). or qualia. of analyses. functionally or biologically). as we might say. related to phenomena involving individual members? As you will agree. while holding that intentional properties. of concepts. For example.
then (1) x has a unique decomposition D into parts. (II) [Mereological supervenience] Mental properties supervene on microstructures of the creatures that have them—that is. on the fact that these creatures are made up of such-and-such parts with such-and-such properties and configured in a structure defined by such-and-such relations. In terms of the concepts introduced thus far. and for any n-adic property or relation. elan vital. then. P... becomes the Democritean doctrine that the world is the way it is because the microworld is the way it is. for example... and there is a set F of lower-level properties and relations characterizing d1. and conversely for every decomposition of y into its proper parts there is an isomorphic decomposition of x. at the levels of atoms.. There are no nonphysical residues (e. d1. Let us now consider mental properties and creatures with mentality: when applied to these.The Mind-Body Problem / 193
there is a one-one function I from D to C. and so on (“significant” here is intended to exclude unmotivated gerrymandered decompositions into arbitrary parts).. clauses (1) and (2) above yield the following two claims: (I) [Ontological physicalism] Any creature (or system) with mentality is wholly constituted by physical parts—ultimately.. suppose that M is a characteristic property at a certain level for which the supervenience thesis holds (so M is not a property of entities at the bottom level).. it makes sense to assume that every object has a unique decomposition at any significant lower-level. dn. cells. and the like). basic physical particles. entelechies. in parallel with the way macrophysical properties are determined and
. we should resist the temptation to read more into (II) than what’s really there. molecules.g. dn at the fundamental physical level. In any case. to the effect that properties of wholes are determined by the properties and relations that characterize their parts. Cartesian souls.. A general claim of supervenience. where dn is any n-tuple of elements in D and I(dn) is the image of dn under I. We may assume that any object has a unique decomposition at the bottom level of basic physical particles. There almost certainly are higher levels than the fundamental physical level (e.. Now. therefore. when applied to the layered model. turn into theses of mereological supervenience. this means: If something x has M. P(dn) iff P(I(dn)). supervenience claims. (II) tells us that mind-body supervenience is an instance of mereological supervenience. molecular and cellular levels) where indiscernibility at those levels entails mental indiscernibility.g. in fact. Unsurprisingly. and this might tempt us into thinking that we might find here an informative explanation of mind-body supervenience. and (2) necessarily any y which has a decomposition isomorphic to D preserving F has M. As advertised.
and other characteristic pain behavior. properties specified in terms of their roles as causal intermediaries between sensory inputs and behavioral outputs. which satisfies a certain condition D. as things are in this and other relevantly similar worlds (in particular. But these remain legitimate questions that need to be addressed if we are seeking a full understanding of the interlevel property relationships. To use a stock example. P. Let us now turn to the idea of “physical realization” as an approach to these questions.194 / Jaegwon Kim
hence explained by microphysical properties. The idea is closely related to—in fact. for an organism to be in pain is for it to be in some internal state that is typically caused by tissue damage and which typically causes groans. the further claim is that. where in the present case D specifies P’s typical causes and typical effects. these are our “first-order” (or “base”)
.20 This is usually taken to be a conceptual truth arising from our notion of what it is to be a mental property. or realizers. More generally. For it may be that mental properties are fixed by microphysical properties because microphysical properties fix macrophysical properties (as we expect) and the latter in turn fix mental properties. to have this property is for x to have some “first-order” property. Moreover. III Physical realizationism. x. But this would be an illusion. winces. is the claim that mental properties are physically realized—or more precisely. we can explain the idea of a second-order property in the following way. If this should be the case (I find this a plausible possibility). that would not automatically promise us an intelligible account of why the supervenience obtains. if mereological considerations are going to help us here. as you may recall. no mental properties can (at least as a matter of nomological necessity) have nonphysical realizations. in regard to the basic categories of existents and laws of nature). we would still have to explain why mental properties supervene on macrophysical properties and the mereological aspect of (II) would likely offer no help with this. being in pain is said to be a “second-order” property: for a system. For one thing. the mind-body supervenience on offer here is consistent with the mental supervening on macrophysical properties. In this sense. of these causal roles definitive of mental properties. or must they be taken as brute and fundamental? These questions are unaffected by the question whether P is micro or macro. it is by no means obvious just how that might happen. the questions still remain: Is M reducible to P in some appropriate sense? Can we explain why something has M in terms of its having P? Are the P-M and other such supervenience relationships explainable (and what can “explanation” mean here?). Given that mental property M is supervenient on a microphysical base P. it is the heart of—the functionalist program on mentality. physical states and properties are the only occupants. even if mental properties should in some sense directly supervene on the microphysical.21 Let B be a set of properties. Functionalism views mental properties and kinds as functional properties.
in terms of causal relations holding for first-order physical properties (including biological and behavioral properties). in addition to the usual logical expressions and appropriate descriptive terms (e. Second-order properties.22 Since mental properties are to be generated out of B. having blue. we take B to consist of nonmental properties (including physicochemical. and behavioral properties). being jade can be thought of as the second order property of being a mineral that is pale green or white in color and fit for use as gemstones or for carving. mental properties turn out to be extrinsic or relational properties of individuals that have them.. To be in a mental state is to be in a state with such-and-such as its typical causes and suchand-such as its typical effects. then the property of having a primary color can be generated as a second-order property: having a property P in B such that P red or P blue or P green. On the functionalist conception. They need not be “first-order” in any absolute sense. We may call the base properties that satisfy condition D the “realizers” of second-order property F. We may now define functional properties over B to be those second-order properties over B whose specification D involves the causal/nomic relation. functional properties are second-order properties defined in terms of causal/nomic relations among first-order properties. or all. having red. jadeite and nephrite. whether or not it is a realizer of a functional property—depends. those referring to members of B). If B is a set of minerals.The Mind-Body Problem / 195
properties. This second-order property has two known realizers. A further parameter to be fixed is the vocabulary allowed for formulating condition D. biological. mental properties are specified by causal roles.g. respectively). An example of a functional property is dormitivity: a substance has this property just in case it has a chemical property that causes people to sleep. to be exact) is available. if the base set B includes colors. Or consider water-solubility: something has this property in case it has some property or other P such that when it is immersed in water P causes it to dissolve. In this sense. on its causal/
. We then have this: F is a second-order property over set B of base properties iff F is the property of having some property P in B such that D(P). for our present purposes we assume that the causal/nomological relation (holding for properties—or property instances. Thus. therefore. that is. but in virtue of different first-order chemical realizers (diazepam and secobarbital. and having green are the three realizers of having a primary color. For example. This conception of functional property accords well with the standard usage in the functionalist literature. some. where D specifies a condition on members of B. Whether or not a given property qualifies as an occupant of the specified role—that is. are “second-order” in that they are generated by quantification—existential quantification in the present case—over the base properties. definitionally and constitutively. Both Valium and Seconal have this property. of them may be second-order relative to another set of properties. That is.
heavenly angels. It has long been a platitude in philosophy of mind/psychology that mental properties can have diverse and variable realizers in different species and systems. contingent and empirical. if available. there may be “functional substitutes” in the following sense: If for some reason the normal mechanism for instantiating P in an organism turns dysfunctional. across the diverse biological species and perhaps nonbiological cognitive systems. Whether a given physical property. however. standardly taken to be a consequence of this fact. or psychology. Intrinsic characters of course do matter. and even the omniscient one itself! (This evidently stretches the idea of “rational psychology” to the breaking point. It follows then that if mental properties are functional properties. M. independently of the particulars of their physical implementations. if laws of nature should vary. And any mechanism that gets activated by the right input and that. they are not tied to the compositional/structural details of their realizers. The status of P as a realizer of M varies along another dimension as well: Since P’s credentials as M’s realizer depend on its causal/nomic relations to other properties. and that the formal/abstract character of mental properties. but only because of their capacity to get causally or nomologically hooked up with other properties. triggers the right response serves as a realizer (in an extended sense) of a psychological capacity or function. and P’s input/ouput causal functions will depend on the makeup of the system as a whole. is a realizer of a mental property. another mechanism with the right causal capacities. immaterial Cartesian souls. that could affect P’s status as a realizer of M. since these are intrinsic features. is heady stuff. may not realize M. P realizes M in this world. that are valid for cognizers as such. is just what makes cognitive science possible—a scientific investigation of cognitive properties as such.23 since in psychology the input-output behavior of the total system is what is at issue. depends on the nature of the system in which P is embedded. the idea of universal laws of cognition and psychology. not on its intrinsic character. indeed.) Even when we bring in the materialist constraint of physical realizationism. any base properties with the right causal/nomological relations to other properties can serve as their realizers. electromechanical robots. Conversely.196 / Jaegwon Kim
nomological relations to other properties. Clearly it is a metaphysically contingent fact about them that they have such capacities. noncarbonbased intelligent extraterrestrials. P. may be recruited to supply another realizer of M for that organism. it is a seductive thought that there may be contingent empirical laws of cognition. when embedded in another system. when activated. Whether or not tissue damage will cause the nociceptive neurons to fire in a given organism obviously depends on the organism’s neural organization. and applicable to all nomologically possible physical systems with mentality. whether they are protein-based biological organisms like us and other earthly creatures. some have even speculated about the possibility of nonphysical realizations of psychologies. thereby altering P’s causal potential. and what overt behavior will be triggered by the firing of these neural fibers again depends on the organism’s neural and motor systems. So the same property P.
. In fact.
entails the supervenience thesis. it is also important to note its constancy: Once the system’s physical constitution and the prevailing laws of nature are fixed. the microstructure of a system determines its causal/nomic properties. not as an intrinsic property. It isn’t that when certain systems instantiate P.. it follows that P is nomologically sufficient for M. in terms of causal/nomic relations. mind-body supervenience holds. . This means that if there are no nonphysical realizations of the mental. or P is one of the ways of having M. or it may have no realizers at all. Suppose P realizes M in systems of kind S. And we have an explanation of mental-physical correlations: Why is it the case that whenever P is instantiated in a system. it follows that the Ms are supervenient on the Ps. this means that physical realizationism provides an explanation of mind-body supervenience. It may be that in such worlds. I believe. it also instantiates mental property M? Because having M consists in having a property with causal specification D. if P1. M may have realizers entirely different from its realizers in this world. where the force of supervenience is that of nomological (rather than logical/metaphysical) necessity. then. Although the realization relation can shift in these ways. To reduce a property..The Mind-Body Problem / 197
in a world in which different laws prevail and hence different causal relations hold. by any reasonable standards. accords well with the paradigm of reduction in science. Thus. that fixes whether or not P realizes M in that system. Pn& is a realization of M1. in that each Pi is a realizer of Mi. having M consists in having P. we must first construe it. then P will realize M in all systems that are subject to the same laws and that are relevantly similar to s—that is.24 Moreover. we first construe it—or reconstrue it— functionally. Physical realizationism. if P realizes M in system s.. is “nothing over and above” having one of its physical realizers. it follows that P is sufficient for M—in fact. Consider a class S of systems sharing a relevantly similar microstructure. or phenomenon. be sufficient to warrant the reductive claim that having M. given the nomological constancy just noted of the realization relation. it follows that. perhaps something like this: it is that magnitude of an
. but as an extrinsic property characterized relationally. For systems like s. is just having P. From the definition of realization. . as most of us would accept. and that this psychophysical correlation must be taken as a brute unexplainable fact.. s. for example. in systems like s. . for these systems. and. Mn&. To reduce temperature. the realization relation remains invariant for systems with similar microstructures. That is to say. mental property M magically emerges or supervenes (in the dictionary sense of “supervene”). more importantly for us. It is rather that having M. This. This must. The mental supervenes on the physical because every mental property is a second-order functional property with physical realizers. for these systems. in respect of all nomic properties. . therefore. P is the property (or one of the properties) meeting specification D. in terms of its causal/nomic relations to other properties and phenomena. P may fail to satisfy the functional specification that defines M. Biological conspecifics may constitute such a class. with laws held constant. If.
Standardly. can make steel brittle. is based on the claim that. reductions remain valid only when the basic laws of nature are held constant—that is. and vacuums. taken in conjunction with “bridge laws” connecting the predicates of the two theories. the possibility of mind-body reduction. causes a ball of wax in the vicinity to melt. on account of their multiple realizability. the underlying mechanisms realizing the reduced property may vary. What has gone largely unappreciated is the fact that the Nagel model of reduction
. mental properties fail to have coextensions in the physical domain. in systems with different structures. and. and that this makes mind-body bridge laws unavailable for Nagelian reduction. The DNA molecule is the realizer of the gene. one that had a decisive role in creating over two decades ago the antireductionist consensus that by and large is still holding. all reductionisms—an easy target. The gene is construed as the mechanism in a biological organism that is causally responsible for the transmission of heritable characteristics from parents to offsprings. but may be something else in solids.198 / Jaegwon Kim
object that is caused to increase when the object is in contact with another with a higher degree of it. you get the idea. when extremely low. consisting in the logical-mathematical derivation of the laws of the target theory from those of the base theory. only for nomologically possible worlds (relative to the reference world). But this is the wrong battlefield on which to contest the issue of reduction. that satisfy these causal/ nomic specifications—that is. The most influential antireductionist argument. are doubly relative: first. then. To be transparent is to have the kind of molecular structure that causes light to pass through intact. that. For mind-body reduction. This argument was then generalized in defense of a general antireductionist position in regard to all special sciences. plasmas. providing each property in the domain of the theory to be reduced with a nomologically coextensive property in the reduction base. Multiple realization and nomic relativity hold in these cases as well. therefore. Temperature may be one thing in gases (the mean translational kinetic energy of molecules). fill the specified causal roles. these correlating bridge laws are taken to be biconditionals in form. across all species and structure types. We then find properties or mechanisms. This has made mind-body reductionism—in fact. Nagel’s model requires that each mental property be provided with a nomologically coextensive physical property. reduction is basically a proof procedure. that.28 This has made bridge laws the focal point of debates on reduction and reductionism: for three decades the battles over reductionisms have been fought on the question whether or not biconditional bridge laws are available for the domains involved. second. that causes the sensation of warmth or cold in humans. This is Ernest Nagel’s model of intertheoretic reduction whose principal focus is on the derivation of laws. can turn steel into a molten state—well. often at the microlevel. when extremely high. in particular.27 According to Nagel. Reductions. when high.25 And so on. but in worlds with different laws of nature another kind of molecule may perform the causal function of the gene. that.26 What has just been described differs in some crucial ways from the standard model of theory reduction that has dominated the discussion of reduction.
so Nagelian reduction is accomplished in the derivation of the target theory from the base theory taken in conjunction with bridge laws as auxiliary premises. therefore. This means that it is exactly these bridge laws that we need to have explained. as we should. It is. a fundamental physicalist ontology and the supervenience of higher-level properties on the lower-level ones. If this is right. of the theory to be reduced is correlated with a nomologically coextensive property. The avail-
. IV In a Nagel reduction. a surprising fact that while the D-N model of explanation has had few committed adherents for at least three decades.The Mind-Body Problem / 199
is in effect the Hempelian D-N model of scientific explanation applied to intertheoretic contexts. the derivations alone cannot advance our understanding of just how macrophenomena and regularities arise out of the underlying microphenomena and their laws. correlation laws of this form are used as additional premises of reductive derivations. “the functionalization model”. Mi. Just as Hempelian explanation consists in the derivation of the statement describing the phenomenon to be explained from laws taken together with auxiliary premises describing relevant initial conditions.29 When the emergentists claimed the irreducibility of emergent properties. explanatory reduction was evidently what they had in mind. and they were not concerned about the multiple realizability of the former in relation to the latter. I believe that Nagelian uniform reductions based on universal biconditional bridge laws are extremely rare (if there have been any) in the sciences—especially. We now turn to emergence as an approach to the problem of the interlevel relationships of properties. the reducibility of a property depends on its functionalizability—whether or not it can be construed as a second-order functional property over properties in the base domain. each property. more appropriate from a philosophical point of view. as we will see in the following section. We will return to this point in connection with the mind-body reduction. If we expect reduction to be an explanatory procedure. One important reason that this account of reduction is unsatisfying is the fact that these bridge laws are assumed as unexplained primitives of the reduction. then it must be the principal explanatory task of microreduction to generate an explanation of macroproperties and macro-regularities in terms of microstructures and micro-regularities. They accepted both (I) and (II)—that is. and that the kind of model adumbrated above. Nagelian derivational reduction via bridge laws still serves as the dominant standard in discussions of reductionism. is not only more realistic but also. in the case of microreductions. So long as they are assumed as unexplained primitives of reductive derivations. of the reducing theory: (L) Mi a Pi As we saw. Pi.
or if Mi is a causal role and Pi is the occupant of that role.30 We must now confront the following question: if Mi is a second-order property and Pi a first-order property. and at some point we will need to find a way of explaining them directly. It is time to tidy up things a bit. But how might such identities be motivated? What might justify the move from (L) to (I)? Our discussion in the preceding section suggests the following scenario: Mi is construed. Attaining such an understanding is exactly the same task as explaining the likes of (L). how could they be one and the same thing? Isn’t it incoherent to think that a property could be both first-order and second-order. mindbody correlation laws. we are welcome to help ourselves to as much Nagel reduction of the mental as we please. that is. But such derivations must always assume other cross-domain correlations as premises. it may be possible to explain them by deriving them from other. We may begin by explicitly recognizing that by existential quantification over a given set of properties. perhaps more basic. like quantification. we cannot alter our ontology—we can neither diminish nor expand it. and the like. and how. we do not literally bring into being a new set of properties. I will now sketch a way of doing this. specifications of these things. We then show that Pi is precisely the first-order property filling the causal role that defines Mi. as a second-order functional property defined in terms of causal/ nomic relations over a domain of “first-order” properties.200 / Jaegwon Kim
ability of biconditional correlation laws was the least of their concerns. causal roles and their occupants. both a role and its occupier? A good question! 31 So far we have been rather loose in our talk of properties. codified in our bridge laws. The intelligibility of these laws was what agitated the emergentists. It is the phenomena of emergence.32 That would be sheer magic: by logical operations on our notations. mentality makes its appearance when certain propitious configurations of biological conditions occur. For something to have secondorder property M is for it to have some first-order property or other meeting a
. that they despaired of making intelligible: Why is it that pains emerge just when these physiological conditions obtain. we dissipate the need to provide a substantive explanation: the identity Mi Pi takes away the logical space in which to raise the question why it is that the two are correlated. and that itches emerge just when these other conditions obtain? Why isn’t it the other way around? Why should any conscious phenomena emerge from biological processes? As far as the emergentists are concerned. correlations connecting the properties of the two domains. The explanatory request makes sense only when different properties are involved. without recourse to further correlations. One familiar suggestion is that what we need to do is to upgrade property correlations to property identities: (I) Mi Pi
By identifying the correlated properties. but this would only be so much logical exercise—it would not advance by an iota our understanding of why. or reconstrued. So how might correlations of the form (L) be explained? In some cases.
. the second-order designators also carry information that is valuable. than second-order properties. or Ted Kennedy. or fact. even if one is on hand.34 Someone murdered Jones. Say.
. where the Ps are the realizers of M.. When I say. who murdered Jones.The Mind-Body Problem / 201
certain specification. and the murderer is either Smith or Jones or Wang. is not a person in addition to Smith. which is not conveyed by the canonical designators of the first-order realizers. if you insist). perhaps very important. “the truth-maker” of this statement is the fact. or. and these designators introduce a set of useful and practically indispensable concepts that group first-order properties in ways that are essential for communicative purposes. instead of naming all the specific properties meeting the stated condition. the information carried by second-order designators can be indispensable and unavoidable. Jones. is for it to have P1 or have P2 or have P3. x has M in virtue of having P2. someone who owns a mansion in Newport or a family compound on Cape Cod. in which case the ultimate truth-maker of “x has M ” is the fact that x has P2. P1. rather than. So it is less misleading to speak of second-order descriptions or designators of properties. or second-order concepts.33 By quantifying over properties we cannot create new properties any more than by quantifying over individuals we can create new individuals. then. “I shook hands with a Democratic senator at the reception yesterday”. that the object has one or another of the three first-order properties. There is no further fact of the matter to the fact that x has M over and above the fact that x has P2. Smith-or-Jones-or-Wang. that is exactly what the fact that it has M amounts to. or answer to.. in a given context. The situation is analogous when we are dealing with individuals: we say. or state of affairs..” (pretty soon you run out of names. where “M ” is a second-order designator (or property. (The “or” here is sentence disjunction. the concepts introduced by second-order designators pick out first-order properties disjunctively. and Wang. Here there is a disjunctive proposition. When we use the functional characterization of pain (that is. say. We convey the information that we are talking about someone who is a Democratic senator.P.) Suppose that in this particular case. In building scientific theories we hope the concepts in our best theories pick out. and P3. with whom to identify the murderer. not predicate disjunction. “x has property M ”. it does not introduce disjunctive predicates with disjunctive properties as their semantic values. For something to have M. or you may not even know any).. a neural characterization of its realizer. P. or Patrick Moynahan. that x has P1 or P2 or P3. the real properties in the world. “pain” for the functionalist) we let others know that we are referring to a state with certain inputoutput properties. Secondorder designators come in handy when we are not able or willing to name the properties we have in mind with first-order designators: so we say “having some property or other. Of course.. P2. The same goes for second-order properties and their realizers. On the present view.”. would in most ordinary contexts be useless and irrelevant. there are three such first-order properties. There is no need here to think of M itself as a property in its own right—not even a disjunctive property with the Ps as disjuncts. such that. and it would be absurd to posit a disjunctive person. That “someone”. instead of “I shook hands with Claiborne Pell. From the ordinary epistemic and practical point of view.
that is the way the emergentists viewed the relationship between emergent properties and the lower-level properties from which they emerge.35 V I believe most cases of interlevel reduction conform to the model I have just sketched. The same strategy should allow microphysical explanations and predictions of biological phenomena as well. or that the resulting substance will be transparent and dissolve sugar but not copper. to be explained. for example: it would seem that once this property has been functionalized. One way of satisfying this further demand is to elevate correlations of the form (L) to identities. and the correlation must be regarded as a brute fact that is not further explainable. is this: Is the mental amenable to the kind of functionalization required for reductive explanation. for it seems that most biological properties seem construable as second-order functional properties over physicochemical properties. as the capacity of a substance to transmit light beams intact. as causal/functional properties. The possibility of functionalization in our sense is a necessary condition of microreduction. is the functional construal of the phenomenon.202 / Jaegwon Kim
Let me briefly summarize the arguments of this section. is basic in the sense that it is not derivable from other laws. or second-order concepts. Consider the transparency of water. For example. And to allay some of the ontological worries this procedure raises.36 I believe that the key to such explanation. it is not possible to predict what properties will emerge at higher levels. we may want to give up the talk of second-order properties altogether in favor of second-order designators of properties. For if both Mi and Pi are distinct intrinsic properties in their own right and the correlation. it is not possible to predict that they will bond in the ratio of 2 to 1 to form water. in considering the role of supervenience. The crucial step in the process of course is the functionalization of the properties to be reduced. or property. As noted earlier. or reconstrued. namely that from a complete knowledge of the basal conditions. is often put in epistemic terms. Their reason for thinking that the emergent relations are brute and unexplainable. and realization in the mind-body debate. replacing “a” with “ ” is out of the question. second-order properties defined over the properties in the reduction base. the emergentists early in this century argued that most chemical properties are emergent in this sense: From a complete knowledge of the hydrogen and the oxygen atoms in isolation. Mi a Pi. or prediction. emergence. These are exactly what need to be explained. and this can be done if the properties being reduced can be construed. there should be no in-principle obstacle to a microphysical explanation of why H20 molecules have this capacity. or does it in prin-
. However. A genuine explanatory reduction cannot be content with the likes of (L) assumed as unexplained premises of reductive derivations. or is in principle capable of predicting. or that emergents are irreducible to their “basal conditions”. these phenomena on the basis of microphysical facts. So the central question for us. the emergentists were wrong about these examples: solid-state physics has explained. (I).
are intrinsic properties if anything is. It has been customary to distinguish between two broad categories of mental phenomena. although whether the reduction will actually be executed is an empirical.g. I don’t see insurmountable obstacles to a causal/functional account of intentionality. question of science. we seem able. I remain unconvinced by these arguments. however. To get to the point without fuss. without difficulty..37 In fact.g. in particular.The Mind-Body Problem / 203
ciple resist such functionalization? If the functionalist conception of the mental is correct—correct for all mental properties—then mind-body reduction is in principle possible. we must know where we stand with the functional approach to the mental. Hilary Putnam. and so on. and in part pragmatic. to conceive a physical duplicate of this world in which qualia are distributed differently or entirely absent (a “zombie world” as some call it). having a mass of two kilograms. without excluding those that have aspects of both (e. To say that an object has a mass of 2 kilograms is to say that it will balance. the intentional and the phenomenal.. unlike the case of intentional phenomena. we commonly refer to them using extrinsic/causal descriptions. “the taste of avocado”. mind-body reductionism and the functionalist approach to mentality stand or fall together. the “concept” if you prefer. Why should we think that the functionalization of qualia won’t work? We obviously cannot open this much debated issue here.39 The trouble comes from qualia. e. phenomenal qualities of experiences. or qualia. There has been much skepticism about the viability of a functionalist account of intentionality. “the color of jade”. the property it designates. However. the principal current form—of mind-body antireductionism. on an equal arm balance. etc.) Compare our practice of ascribing intrinsic physical properties to material objects by the use of relational descriptions. To be sure. has recently mounted sustained attacks on the causal/functionalist accounts of content and reference. it seems to me that the felt. is an intrinsic property of material bodies. That is the linguistic meaning.. e. as distinguished from classic type physicalism. who first formulated functionalism in the 1960s. and John Searle has also vigorously resisted the functionalization of intentionality. is a form—in fact. not something extrinsic or relational. In assessing where we now are with the mind-body problem. therefore. For. (Arguably it is because they are intrinsic and subjective that we need to resort to relational descriptions for intersubjective reference. the claim that functionalism. Let me just say here that it seems to me inconceivable that a possible world exists that is an exact physical duplicate of this world but lacking wholly in intentionality. if not practically feasible. of “2 kilograms”. What I am urging here is the exact opposite—that the functionalist conception of mental properties is required for mind-body reduction. two objects each of which would balance the Prototype Kilogram (an object stored somewhere in France). “two kilograms”. “32 degrees Fahrenheit”. it is necessary and sufficient for reducibility.38 However. and I have nothing new to
. they share the same metaphysical fate. If this is right. this is entirely consistent with the claim that what these descriptions pick out are intrinsic qualities.g. “the smell of ammonia”. emotions). This is contrary to one piece of current philosophical wisdom. Intentionality is particularly evident in propositional attitudes—states carrying content.
Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. vol. and does not offer us an explanatory account of the covariance in terms of some underlying dependency relation. “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”. Whether or not the latter. The former leads to reductionism. This leaves open the choice between physical realizationism (or physicalist functionalism) and emergentism (at least about a specified subset of mental properties). there appears to be no alternative but to accept the higher-level properties involved as emergent properties—intrinsic properties in their own right whose supervenience on their base microproperties must be taken as brute. and not uncontested. Herbert Feigl. arguments from qualia inversions and the familiar epistemic considerations.J. is a coherent view that squares with the basic metaphysics of physicalism is an open question.T. unexplainable correlations.40
Notes 1. Physicalists will in general accept the supervenience thesis.C. realization. are to be explained in a way that is consistent with physicalism—in particular. Grover Maxwell. Herbert Feigl. Where such functionalization cannot be carried out. whether reduced or emergent.204 / Jaegwon Kim
offer—at least not here. ed. This is where the idea of realization steps in: it opens the possibility of explaining the supervenience relation by construing the supervenient macroproperties as second-order functional properties with lowerorder microproperties as their realizers. supervenience itself only describes patterns of property covariance. A successful execution of this program would amount to nothing less than a reductive account of macroproperties in terms of microproperties. The concept of supervenience is useful in formulating a general thesis of micro-to-macro determination of properties. “ The ‘Mental’ and the ‘Physical’ ”. it is more likely to be correct about qualia than about anything else. 2. In any case. the causal closure of the physical domain. the three concepts of supervenience. on the model of reduction I have urged here. 2. My doubts about the functionalist accounts of qualia are by and large based on the well-known. VI To sum up the arguments of this paper. However. then. Philosophical Review 68 (1958): 141– 156. Also open is the question how the causal powers of mental properties. 1958). What I have tried to do in this paper is to set out a general framework within which we can coherently formulate these questions as well as other related ones and think about them in a systematic way. property dualism. Smart. and emergence have played a central role in our thinking about the interlevel property relationships in the layered model of reality that is part of the modern-day metaphysics of science.
. J. British Journal of Psychology 47. Place. and Michael Scriven (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Part I (1956): 44–50. and the latter to nonreductive dualism of properties. “Sensations and Brain Processes”. it seems to me that if emergentism is correct about anything. U.
Supplement: 19–38. 11. See. Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (1984). 1960).g. I have argued elsewhere that classic emergentism is appropriately taken as the first articulation of nonreductive physicalism. H. 1992).g. 8. in Supervenience and Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 14. C. Spinozistic double-aspect theory and Leibniz’s doctrine of preestablished harmony. and Jaegwon Kim (Berlin: De Gruyter. Evan Thompson.. in Hilary Putnam. see Ned Block’s “Introduction: What Is Functionalism?”.. Sydney Hook (New York: New York University Press.
. e. The Concept of Mind (London: Hutchinson and Company. 1985). For further discussion see below. 10. ed. Francisco Varela. e. There are forms of dualism. See my “ The Nonreductivist’s Troubles with Mental Causation”. See my “Supervenience for Multiple Domains”. in Dimensions of Mind ed. The first philosophical use of this term I know of in the current sense in Hilary Putnam’s “Minds and Machines”. Computation and Cognition (Cambridge: MIT Press. that are consistent with supervenience as property covariation but not with full-fledged supervenience that includes asymmetric dependence. and Eleanor Rosch. See my “‘Downward Causation’in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism”. 13. 4. My answer: when the question whether supervenience entails reduction is discussed. The Embodied Mind (Cambridge: The MIT Press. and J. What I will say later about explaining supervenience relations obviously has something to do with this “deep” question. ed. 1925). Mind-body supervenience is not excluded even by Cartesian substance dualism. I do not think there is a single answer to this question. it is formulated in terms of what I now take to be an incorrect model of reduction. in Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. We may also note that although emergentism appears to be committed to mindbody supervenience it is by no means clear that another of its basic tenets. John R. Gilbert Ryle. On the need for explaining supervenience relations see Terence Horgan. 5. namely the doctrine of “downward causation”. See. 1980). On the ambiguous metaphysical stance of functionalism concerning the mind-body problem. Broad. 7. 9. 1993). Another sign of new interest in emergence is the volume of essays on emergence. e. Synthese 92 (1992): 221–260. Emergence or Reduction?. One might object: if supervenience entails reduction. 1992). 15. Collected Papers II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Searle.The Mind-Body Problem / 205 3.g. forthcoming in Philosophical Perspectives. Two notable exceptions were David Armstrong and David Lewis. is consistent with the supervenience thesis. Hans Flohr. Ltd.. Zenon Pylyshyn. The Mind and Its Place in Nature (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. “Supervenience and Cosmic Hermeneutics”. 1949). Flohr.g. vol. “ Troubles on Moral Twin Earth: Moral Queerness Revisited”. ed. Kim (Berlin: De Gruyter. and Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons. In “ Psychological Predicates” first published in 1968 and later reprinted under the title “ The Nature of Mental States”. in Emergence or Reduction?. 16. Beckermann. 1992). The Rediscovery of the Mind (Cambridge: The MIT Press. See especially Part IV entitled “Varieties of Emergence”. since mind-body reductionism clearly is one..D. 6.. 12. Block (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. reprinted in Supervenience and Mind. A. 1. Ansgar Beckermann. 1975). 1993). E. In his “Antireductionism Strikes Back”. mind-body supervenience must be considered a theory of the mind-body relation.
Standard versions of functionalism would also include mental states in the outputs. therefore. Ned Block has extensively used the notion of second-order property in discussions of functionalism. and is likely to show significant differences even among humans. and the implementational. If the mental has only nonphysical realizations. in the case of pain such mental states as a sense of distress and a desire to be rid of it. early in this century. see my “Supervenience for Multiple Domains”. For expository simplicity we ignore this complication here. Cause. In his work on vision David Marr famously distinguishes three levels of analysis: the computational.
. If the mental has both physical and nonphysical realizations. “Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis”. 21. In the cases of the gene and transparency. 19. For a particularly clear and useful statement of the model. is in opposition to the claim principally associated with Saul Kripke that such reductive identities are metaphysically necessary. See his Vision (New York: Freeman Press. e.. evidently false) assumption. what counts as pain input or pain output differ greatly for different species (say. This. whereas temperature appears to be associated with a much more complex and less determinate set of roles. Emergent Evolution (London: Williams and Norgate. Of course one might develop a sort of foundationalist argument to show that if there are second-order properties there must be properties that are first-order in some absolute sense. The discussion here assumes that input and output specifications are held constant for all systems. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. see his Naming and Necessity (Harvard: Cambridge University Press. Although a bit too restrictive. reprinted in Supervenience and Mind. Putnam did not explicitly relate the notion of realization to that of second-order property. 2 (1958). the algorithmic. “Constructival Plasticity”. See also Ronald Endicott. the supervenience of course fails. see. Hilary Putnam is responsible for both the functionalist conception of mentality and the general idea of a second-order property. mind-body supervenience can hold but only trivially.. however. 24. 25. 18. which is a highly idealized (in fact. 1923). in Philosophical Papers. The layered model as such of course does not need to posit a bottom level. appear to have been first to give an explicit formulation of the layered model. see Paul Oppenheim and Hilary Putnam. 1975). The difference derives from the fact that I construe “temperature” and the like as nonrigid designators (in Kripke’s sense). 1984). humans and octopuses) from a purely physicalbehavioral point of view. e. Even these informal examples show that the causal/nomic roles that define functional properties can vary widely in respect of complexity and determinateness.g. 1980). Lloyd Morgan. Volume I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The emergentists. vol. 20. it is consistent with an infinitely descending series of levels.g. C. This reflects the familiar distinction between “single-track” and “multi-track” dispositions. and Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.206 / Jaegwon Kim 17. 1982). 23. These terms are referentially stable only across nomologically possible worlds. we may call them “semi-rigid” or “nomologically rigid”. Philosophical Studies 74 (1994): 51–75. 26. the roles appear to have relatively simple and determinate characterizations. On the latter see his “On Properties”. in “Some Varieties of Functionalism”. Surely. 22. In “On Properties”. See his helpful distinction between “core realization” and “total realization”. reprinted in Identity. Unless we have in mind “total realizers” in something like Sydney Shoemaker’s sense.
Robert Van Gulick’s “Nonreductive Materialism and the Nature of Intertheoretical Constraint”. This is appropriate to the present context. See also the papers by Horgan and by Horgan and Timmons cited in note 12. 34. 36. Synthese 28 (1974): 97–115. On this point see Robert Causey’s persuasive arguments in his Unity of Science (Dordrecht: Reidel. 1993). The Rediscovery of the Mind. But that would be an additional metaphysical (and widely disputed) step. I am indebted to my fellow participants in the event. Brian McLaughlin makes this point in his “ The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism”. and Terry Horgan. For further details and development. As others writers have also noted. H. Humphries (Oxford: Blackwell. Brace & World. what I am advocating here has a good deal in common with David Armstrong’s argument for central-state materialism. as well as members of the audience for helpful comments. 28. Fodor. On this point concerning reducibility and functionalization. 31. Flohr. 33.
. 30. John R. who was my commentator there. chapter 11. 37. there will be multiple occupiers of the causal role. in Emergence or Reduction?. which we cannot deal with here.The Mind-Body Problem / 207 27. An earlier version of this paper was delivered as the Perspectives Lecture at University of Notre Dame in November. Shoemaker and Block) have made a similar observation. Representation and Reality (Cambridge: MIT Press. and J. Unless we accept a closure of properties under disjunction. although of course we differ on the functionalizability of phenomenal properties. See also Horgan. 1988. See Putnam. and Mind in a Physical World. 1995. ed. My thanks go to Paul Hoyningen-Huene. See his A Materialist Theory of the Mind (London: Routledge Kegan Paul.A. 40. A. Beckermann. 35. the huge and variegated functionalist literature is shot through with an ambiguity as to whether mental properties are to be identified with causal roles or with the occupants of these roles. This is the problem of multiple realization. see my “ Postscripts to Mental Causation” in Supervenience and Mind. See J. in Consciousness ed. 32. in Emergence or Reduction?. and Joseph Levine. Searle. In most cases there will be more than one first-order property satisfying the functional specification—that is. See The Structure of Science (New York: Harcourt. I believe others (perhaps. 1977). 1995. both in my Supervenience and Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. but this is not a place to argue the point. Fred Dretske. we are working with what some have called the “sparse” conception of properties as opposed to the “abundant” conception. 29. See my “Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction” and “ Postscripts on Mental Causation”. You may recall the logical jokes in Alice in Wonderland based on such errors. Thus. 1993) 38. 1961). Martin Davies and Glyn W. forthcoming. “Supervenience and Cosmic Hermeneutics”. Marian David. 1968). 39. “Special Sciences (or The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)”. Kim. An even earlier version was given at the PittsburghKonstanz Colloquium in April. “On Leaving Out What It Is Like”.