, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 61–78 | Cite as

Immense Multiple Realization

  • Anders StrandEmail author
Original Paper


In his latest book Physicalism, or Something near Enough, Jaegwon Kim argues that his version of functional reductionism is the most promising way for saving mental causation. I argue, on the other hand, that there is an internal tension in his position: Functional reductionism does not save mental causation if Kim’s own supervenience argument is sound. My line of reasoning has the following steps: (1) I discuss the supervenience argument and I explain how it motivates Kim’s functional reductionism; (2) I present what I call immense multiple realization, which says that macro-properties are immensely multiply realized in determinate micro-based properties; (3) on that background I argue that functional reductionism leads to a specified kind of irrealism for mental properties. Assuming that such irrealism is part of Kim’s view, which Kim himself seems to acknowledge, I argue that Kim’s position gets the counterfactual dependencies between macro-causal relata wrong. Consequently, his position does not give a conservative account of mental causation. I end the paper by discussing some alternative moves that Kim seems to find viable in his latest book. I argue on the assumption that the supervenience argument is sound, so the discussion provides further reasons to critically reevaluate that argument because it generalizes in deeply problematic ways.


Causal exclusion Functional reductionism Mental causation Multiple realization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and IdeasUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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