Reality and Humean Supervenience: Essays on the Philosophy of David Lewis (Studies in Epistemology and Cognitive Theory)

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If asked what Humeanism could mean today, there is no other philosopher to turn to whose work covers such a wide range of topics from a unified Humean perspective as that of David Lewis. The core of Lewis's many contributions to philosophy, including his work in philosophical ontology, intensional logic and semantics, probability and decision theory, topics within philosophy of science as well as a distinguished philosophy of mind, can be understood as the development of philosophical position that is centered around his conception of Humean supervenience. If we accept the thesis that it is physical science and not philosophical reasoning that will eventually arrive at the basic constituents of all matter pertaining to our world, then Humean supervenience is the assumption that all truths about our world will supervene on the class of physical truths in the following sense: There are no truths in any compartment of our world that cannot be accounted for in terms of differences and similarities among those properties and external space-time relations that are fundamental to our world according to physical science.

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About the Author:

Gerhard Preyer is professor of social science at J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt.
Frank Siebelt is professor of philosophy at J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt.


This collection gathers papers on David Lewis's metaphysics. Since the editors have assembled a superb group of authors, the result is at the cutting edge of the best work in contemporary metaphysics. Together with Lewis's writings it would make for an outstanding seminar in metaphysics. (Ernest Sosa, Brown University)

This is a very fine collection of essays about David Lewis's work. Centered around such central Lewisian doctrines as Humean supervenience, modal realism, the counterfactual analysis of causation and physicalism, the collection is a fitting tribute to his outstanding work and to its influence. (Jeremy Butterfield, University of Cambridge)

This recent volume of papers on Lewis's work is thus timely and important as it brings together a number of excellent papers by prominent philosophers, the majority of whom have been long-time critics or defenders of Lewis's views. It is essential reading for those interested in metaphysics, philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science. (Brian Jonathan Garret, York University)

David Lewis's work occupies a central place in contemporary metaphysics, and in this volume some of our leading metaphysicians comment, interpret, and critically appraise Lewis's important and influential claims and arguments on issues like modality and possible worlds, 'Humean' supervenience, endurance and purdurance, counterfactuals and time, causation, and the mind-body problem. This is a timely and highly useful collection indispensable to students of Lewis's work in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. (Jaegwon Kim, Professor of Philosophy, Brown University)

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