Reduction, Autonomy and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties

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Rueger, Alexander
preprint description
Is there a problem of causal exclusion between micro- and macro-level physical properties? I argue that the properties that in fact are in competition are both macro, viz., the property of a (macro-) system of having such-and-such macro properties` (call this a macro property`) and the property of the same system of being constituted by such-and-such a micro-structure` (call this a micro-structural property`). I show that there are cases where, for lack of reducibility, there is a prima facie intra-level causal competition between the two kinds of properties. The problem can be resolved without giving up on the causal efficacy of the macro properties if we understand instances of macro properties to be parts of micro-structural property instances. The parthood relation of between both kinds of property instances can be mapped onto the way physical theory deals with the relation of their descriptions in the framework of perturbation theory.