more from John Heil

Single Idea 4601

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 1. Reductionism critique]

Full Idea

The categories definitive of a given science mark off boundaries that are largely invisible within science at lower levels. That is why there is, in general, no prospect of reducing a higher-level science to a science at some lower level.

Gist of Idea

Higher-level sciences cannot be reduced, because their concepts mark boundaries invisible at lower levels


John Heil (Philosophy of Mind [1998], Ch.4)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'Philosophy of Mind' [Routledge 1998], p.116

A Reaction

This sounds slick, but I am unconvinced. Molecules only exist at the level of chemistry, but they are built up out of physics, and the 'boundaries' could be explained in physics, if you had the knowledge and patience.