Supervenience a two way road


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Supervenience a two way road

  1. 1. Supervenience : ATwo Way Aspect In the desperate attempt to reduce the non physical to the physical has led to some materialists to try a shortcut .The supervenience of all properties on physical properties is held by some to be all that a physicalists could want or need. This is just a trial to show that physical is not unique with respect to supervenience. It is equally true that nonphysical supervenes on the moral . The mental and the aesthetic. In order to make moral/mental properties to be both real and irreducible, the physicalists added the moral properties supervened upon andhence did not challenge the ontological primacy of physical Supervenience can be seen as the relationship between a higher level and lower level of existence where the higher level is dependent on the lower level. One level supervenes on another when there can only be a change at the higher level if there is also a change at the lower level. (e.g., a set of properties S supervenes upon a set of properties B when there cannot be an A difference without a B difference). If every pair in the domain has a B difference, then the supervenience of S on B follows immediately. And if every pair also had a S difference , then B would also supervene on S . In a possible world in which every object has a unique color then every property supervenes on color .this follows because in such a world there would be no differences in shape , size , texture etc. . without a difference in color. Actual physical language is far subtler and closer to an ideal physical language than actual moral language is to ideal moral language . Actual physical language has incorporated mathematics while actual moral language, despite the efforts has not this results in vast preponderance in the number of physical distinctions we can make in the actual physical language compared to the actual moral language . Mathematics is the tool that enables us to make infinite distinctions in as many dimensions as can be mathematized. Our physical language permits infinitely fine graduations in mass , velocity , and many other variables .physicalists must be willing to consider relational physical differences in the base properties .Compare Joe on earth with max on twin earth . Joe believes that water is wet , max believes that twin earth water is wet. Yet there is no internal difference between the two . Both say water is wet” at appropriate times , but Joe speaks English and max speaks twin earth English. The difference in their respective believes supervenes on and is explained by the difference between their immediate environment , full of h20 and XYZ , not by the difference in their internal physical states . The base property must include relations to non contemporaneous events .Being Indian currency does not supervene on the quality of the paper or the pattern of ink marks on the paper .It supervenes on who printed it . Being currency supervenes on the relational physical properties connected with the causal history of the tokens in the not only do the base properties include relations , they do not even have to be contemporaneous with the supervenient property . Physical properties are generally dispositional .Inertial mass , for example, refers to a body’s disposition to resist changes in their state of motion . Two bodies could differ in their inertial masses even if they suffer changes in the states of motion so long as counterfactually they would differentially accelerate if subjected to equivalent forces
  2. 2. Finally base properties need not to be detectable , So the base properties n which the moral properties supervenes include relations , non contemporaneous properties and disposition properties none of which need to be detectable .moreover these properties mathematized to allow infinity of distinctions to be drawn . recall that if every pair of the things differs physically, then the supervenience of everything on the physical in this generously endowed physical language all but guarantees that this will , in fact , be the case . The idealization of physical language and especially mathematization of practically sufficient to establish the supervenience of all other properties on the physical it is quite proper for philosophers to consider idealization of the physical language in metaphysical contests . But idealization trivializes the superveniencerelation , because it allows infinite distinctions to be made . If there is a physical difference between every pair of individuals , then trivially thereis no difference without a physical difference . But mathematization of the physical difference ensures that there is a physical difference between every pair of individuals , this can be demonstrated even in very simple possible worlds. If none is detectable by human sense organs then we use instruments. If none is detectable by instruments then we will perfect or hypothesize better instruments. Onething is certain we will never be forced to admit there is no physical difference.When we consider the complexity of the world , plus the supervenience relation is supported by undetectable differences , relational properties , and dispositional properties , the mathematization of physics ensures supervenience. If we idealize moral language in this way the everything will supervene on the moral .if we consider undetectable dispositions relations , and noncontemporaneous moral properties and especially if we make quantitative moral distinctions and not merely qualitative ones, we ensure that there will never be a physical difference without a moral difference . I don’tthink anyone can honestly object to idealizing moral language in this context .in casuistry , we ought to use our actual moral language such as it is . but in metaphysics , we are trying to look at the universe from God’s eye point of view .and idealization is appropriate . Just as it is unfair to allow one team to use a different set of rules from another anther team , it is inappropriate to compare actual moral language to idealized physical language . the let both teams play by the same rules and the result is a draw. The import of theser results for the supervenience of moral on physical properties . The intended distinction between supervenient and the base properties requires that no two thing be morally different and physically identical .otherwise moral difference would not only supervene on physical differences but physical differences would also supervene on moral differences , which would destroy the intended ontological primacy of the physical . but there is some moral distinction to be mafde , however small , between any two elements in the domain , the distinctions between supervenient and base properties disappears .if we make moral distinctions as readily as physical distinctions and so the supervenience argument for physicalism collapses . Granting the same advantage to moral language produces the parallel result. Concerning the supervenience of the physical in the mental , we need only remember idealism .we might object to idealism but surely every physical difference in a table corresponds to some dispositional difference how perceivers might perceive it . in fact every physical difference in a table supervenes on a host of dispositional perceptual differences in how the table would look to observer n different positions . If we
  3. 3. make thedifference fall below the threshold of human senses then there are always instruments .whenal else fail , we can always postulate superhumanly sensitive perceivers to pick up the remaining slack . MANJOT SINGH(2011CS10228) NEERAJ (2011CS10234) BADRESH(2011ce10341)