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Ideas of Terence Horgan, by Text

[American, fl. 1988, Professor at the University of Memphis.]

1993 From Supervenience to Superdupervenience
§4 p.12 'Superdupervenience' is supervenience that has a robustly materialistic explanation
     Full Idea: The idea of a ontological supervenience that is robustly explainable in a materialistically explainable way I hereby dub 'superdupervenience'.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §4)
     A reaction: [He credits William Lycan with the actual word] His assumption prior to this introduction is that mere supervenience just adds a new mystery. I take supervenience to be an observation of 'tracking', which presumably needs to be explained.
§5 p.16 'Global' supervenience is facts tracking varying physical facts in every possible world
     Full Idea: The idea of 'global supervenience' is standardly expressed as 'there are no two physically possible worlds which are exactly alike in all physical respects but different in some other respect'.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §5)
     A reaction: [Jaegwon Kim is the source of this concept] The 'local' view will be that they do indeed track, but they could, in principle, come apart. A zombie might be a case of them possibly coming apart. Zombies are silly.
§5 p.16 Physicalism needs more than global supervenience on the physical
     Full Idea: Global supervenience seems too weak to capture the physical facts determining all the facts. …There could be two spatio-temporal regions alike in all physical respects, but different in some intrinsic non-physical respect.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §5)
     A reaction: I.e. there might be two physically identical regions, but one contains angels and the other doesn't (so the extra fact isn't tracking the physical facts). Physicalism I take to be the simple denial of the angels. Supervenience is an explanandum.
§6 p.19 Materialism requires that physics be causally complete
     Full Idea: Any broadly materialistic metaphysical position needs to claim that physics is causally complete.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §6)
     A reaction: Since 'physics' is a human creation, I presume he means that physical reality is causally complete. The interaction problem that faced Descartes seems crucial - how could something utterly non-physical effect a physical change?
§8 p.23 Don't just observe supervenience - explain it!
     Full Idea: Although the task of explaining supervenience has been little appreciated and little discussed in the philosophical literature, it is time for that to change.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §8)
     A reaction: I would offer a strong addition to this: be absolutely sure that you are dealing with two distinct things in the supervenience relationship, before you waste time trying to explain how they relate to one another.
§8 p.27 Instrumentalism normally says some discourse is useful, but not genuinely true
     Full Idea: Instrumentalist views typically attribute utility to the given body of discourse, but deny that it expresses genuine truths.
     From: Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §8)
     A reaction: To me it is obvious to ask why anything could have a high level of utility (especially in accounts of the external physical world) without being true. Falsehoods may sometimes (though I doubt it) be handy in human life, but useful in chemistry…?