Causal Inheritance and Second-order Properties

Suzanne Bliss, Jordi Fernández


We defend Jaegwon Kim’s ‘causal inheritance’ principle from an objection
raised by Jurgen Schröder. The objection is that the principle is
inconsistent with a view about mental properties assumed by Kim, namely,
that they are second-order properties. We argue that Schröder misconstrues
the notion of second-order property. We distinguish three notions of
second-order property and highlight their problems and virtues. Finally, we
examine the consequence of Kim’s principle and discuss the issue of whether
Kim’s ‘supervenience argument’ generalizes to all special sciences or not.

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