Global supervenience, coincident entities and anti-individualism

Oron Shagrir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Theodore Sider distinguishes two notions of global supervenience: strong global supervenience and weak global supervenience. He then discusses some applications to general metaphysical questions. Most interestingly, Sider employs the weak notion in order to undermine a familiar argument against coincident distinct entities. In what follows, I reexamine the two notions and distinguish them from a third, intermediate, notion (intermediate global supervenience). I argue that (a) weak global supervenience is not an adequate notion of dependence; (b) weak global supervenience does not capture certain assumptions about coincidence relations; (c) these assumptions are better accommodated by the stronger notion of intermediate global supervenience; (d) intermediate global supervenience, however, is also not an adequate notion of dependence; and (e) strong global supervenience is an adequate notion of dependence. It also fits in with anti-individualism about the mental. It does not, however, serve to rebut arguments against coincident entities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)171-196
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
36 I thank Hagit Benbaji, Yuval Dolev, Dalia Drei, Ruth Manor, Ariel Merav and Michael Morreau for useful discussions. I am thankful to Gene Witmer for the careful reading of the paper, and important suggestions. I am especially grateful to Theodore Sider for encouraging me to write this paper, and for many corrections, explanations, and insightful suggestions. While this paper was in proofs, I learned that Karen Bennett (‘Global Supervenience and Dependence’, forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research) independently reaches similar conclusions to some of those made here. This research was supported by The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


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