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Can Multiple Realisation be Explained?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2020


Multiple realisation prompts the question: how is it that multiple systems all exhibit the same phenomena despite their different underlying properties? In this paper I develop a framework for addressing that question and argue that multiple realisation can be reductively explained. I illustrate this position by applying the framework to a simple example – the multiple realisation of electrical conductivity. I defend my account by addressing potential objections: contra (e.g.) Polger and Shapiro (2016), Batterman (2018), and Sober (1999), I claim that multiple realisation is commonplace, that it can be reductively explained, but that it requires a sui generis reductive explanatory strategy.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2020

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