Persons and their underpinnings

Martin Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


I defend a conception of the relationship between the personal and sub‐personal levels as interaction withoutreduction.There are downward inferences from the personal to the sub‐personal level but we find upward explanatory gaps when we try to construct illuminating accounts of personal level conditions using just sub‐personal level notions. This conception faces several serious challenges but the objection that I consider in this paper says that, when theories support downward inferences from the personal to the sub‐personal level, this is the product of an unacceptably • mechanistic view of persons. According to this objection, if we were to focus on persons as conscious rational thinkers and agents then the support for putative downward inferences would be undermined. I consider and reject developments of this objection in response to two arguments for downward inferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

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