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Physical Realization$
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Sydney Shoemaker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214396.001.0001

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Functional Properties, Emergent Properties, and Phony Properties

Functional Properties, Emergent Properties, and Phony Properties

(p.55) 4 Functional Properties, Emergent Properties, and Phony Properties
Physical Realization

Sydney Shoemaker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that functional properties are not the only properties that can be realized by other properties, and are not a distinct ontological category of properties. The ‘mixed view’ that functional properties have their causal profiles essentially while other properties have their causal profiles contingently has the unacceptable consequence that we can have no good reason for assigning any property to either of these categories. And on the view that all properties have their causal profiles, essentially there is no basis for marking off functional properties as a separate class. The existence of emergent properties is argued to be compatible with physicalism. The chapter ends with a discussion of how genuine properties can be distinguished from arbitrary disjunctions of properties.

Keywords:   functional property, mixed view, emergent properties, physicalism, genuine properties, disjunctive properties

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