A physicalist account of multiple realizability in the special sciences

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Hemmo, Meir; Shenker, Orly R.
conference paper description
Multiple realizability seems to be empirically justified and provides the conceptual basis for the autonomy of the special sciences. But it is mysterious. In this talk I propose a new reductionist approach to the special sciences that removes the mystery: I explain why the special sciences kinds appear to be multiply realized although they are identical with physical kinds and in what sense the special sciences kinds and laws are autonomous although they are physical laws. This approach is based on the approach by Hemmo & Shenker (2012) to the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics.