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A priori arguments for reductionism
Recently, several philosophers have argued that nonreductive physicalism is a false, unstable, and incoherent position. I argue that the position these critics are attacking is a straw one. To help explain why let us distinguish three issues about which nonreductive physicalists might plausibly be thought to have an opinion: (i) ontological considerations about the types of things that exist at a world, (ii) issues involving the existence and nature of any dependency relationships between the types of things that exist at a world, and (iii) epistemological questions regarding the best way to describe, explain, or characterize the types of things that exist at a world. I argue that reductive and nonreductive physicalists essentially agree with respect to the first two issues, but disagree with respect to the last issue. Nonreductive physicalists advocate a position that is ontologically or metaphysically reductive, but epistemologically or representationally nonreductive. Although this position could prove false on empirical grounds, it is neither unstable nor incoherent.
Susse, Jennifer Rea, "A priori arguments for reductionism" (2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3110558.