By Peter Godfrey-Smith
This e-book is an additional contribution to the sequence Cambridge experiences in Philosophy and Biology. it really is an formidable try and clarify the connection among intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing to hyperlink philosophy of brain to extra normal matters concerning the family among organisms and environments, and to the overall trend of "externalist" motives. it is a hugely unique philosophical venture that would entice a wide swath of philosophers, particularly these operating within the philosophy of biology, philosophy of brain, and epistemology.
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Additional info for Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature
Sometimes this is regarded as being too weak and puzzling. For it is consistent with weak supervenience that in other possible worlds, which are relevantly different to our world, P occurs without M occurring. 19 This makes the relationship between mental and physical properties far too puzzling (see Heil 1998b: 149). Therefore, a strong supervenience relation is postulated by adding the requirement that it is necessary that anything that has P also has M. This in turn is also problematic, for it undermines the point of antireductionism by making it possible to infer the possession of M-property from the possession of P-property.
We can thus say that whenever a predicate applies to an object, an object has a pleonastic property. In this sense, saying that an object has a property and saying that a predicate applies to an object are interchangeable. This point about the lack of metaphysical consequences of deflationary properties becomes fairly central in some of the following sections. Of course, there is a story to be told about the application conditions of the predicate, and there is no reason to assume that this story consists just in the fact that the object has this property, for that would be uninformative, if not circular.
Consider an example adapted from Heil (2003a: 7). Once we have assumed the existence of the inflationary property of being in pain, and are unable to find a corresponding physical property, the principle Φ leaves us only two choices: either it is not true to say that someone is in pain and there is no such property, or being in pain is a higher-order property. 5). On the other hand, if we understand the principle Φ as governing the use of the notion of a pleonastic property, and keep in mind that talk in terms of pleonastic properties carries no immediate ontological commitments, the principle Φ does no harm.