The English-Speaking Colloquium (June 27)

he next meeting of the English-Speaking Colloquium on Analytic Philosophy will take place on the coming Tuesday, June 27, at 15.00 in Room 520, 4th Buidling.

Daria Slaushevskaya will give a talk entitled

The Concept of Supervenience in Davidson and Kim


The concept of supervenience has been introduced by Donald Davidson to make the identity theory compatible with ontology containing a mental domain and the idea of freedom. Davidson’s anomalous monism is the theory according to which every mental event is identical to some physical event but no mental event can be predicted, no matter how full our knowledge about physical events is. That means there are no psychophysical laws that could explain correlation between mental and physical. Jaegwon Kim claims that there is a flaw in this view. He examines the concept of supervenience in detail and distinguishes two types of supervenience – weak and strong. According to Kim, ‘weak psychophysical supervenience appears too weak to yield materialism, but strong supervenience seems too strong in entailing the existence of a pervasive system of psychophysical equivalences’. He concludes that if we want to accept psychophysical dependence, we have to admit the existence of psychophysical laws. In my presentation, I’m going to examine Kim’s objections to Davidson and state some questions concerning the concept of supervenience.

Everybody is welcome!