Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2002




Andrew Botterell (this volume) has offered a fine response to my article “Supervenience and Psycho-Physical Dependence” (Campbell 2000). In my original article, I argued that Donald Davidson’s brand of supervenience should be understood as a relation between predicates rather than properties, that this formulation captures a form of psycho-physical dependence that eludes other forms of supervenience, and that, as such, it might be useful to revisit Davidsonian supervenience as a means of expressing a plausible form of physicalism. Botterell’s reply centres on offering support for the following two claims: (1) that the distinction between properties and predicates “is irrelevant to issues concerning physicalism and supervenience” (Botterell 2002, p. 155); and (2) that predicate supervenience1 is unhelpful to formulating a plausible form of physicalism. I think the first claim is false, but not for reasons that are readily apparent in the original article. My reaction to the second claim is more complicated.


This article was originally published in Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 41(1): 163-168. © 2002 Canadian Philosophical Association