Supervenience and anomalism are compatible

Oron Shagrir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


I explore a Davidsonian proposal for the reconciliation of two theses. One is the supervenience of the mental on the physical, the other is the anomalism of the mental. The gist of the proposal is that supervenience and anomalism are theses about interpretation. Starting with supervenience, the claim is that it should not be understood in terms of deeper metaphysical relations, but as a constraint on the relations between the applications of physical and mental predicates. Regarding anomalism, the claim is that psychophysical laws have to satisfy certain counterfactual cases, in which an interpreter evaluates her past attributions in the light of new pieces of evidence. The proposed reconciliation is that supervenience entails that an interpreter will always attribute the same mental predicates to two individuals with the same physical states. However, supervenience does not imply that an interpreter cannot revise her past attributions to the two individuals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)241-266
Number of pages26
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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