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Space, Supervenience and Entailment.

Gibb, S. C. (2006) 'Space, Supervenience and Entailment.', Philosophical papers., 35 (2). pp. 171-184.


Le Poidevin has recently presented an argument that gives rise to a serious problem for relationist theories of space. It appeals to the simple geometrical fact that if A, B and C are three points lying in a straight line, then AB and BC together entail AC. He suggests that an ontological relationship of supervenience must be appealed to to explain this entailment. Given this thesis of supervenience, relationism is implausible. I argue that the problem that Le Poidevin raises for relationism should be rejected, because the thesis of supervenience is false. The latter rests upon what Le Poidevin refers to as ‘The explanatory principle’, a principle which he claims to be a natural extension of the truthmaker principle. Contrary to this, I argue that given any plausible theory of truthmaking, the explanatory principle is false. With the rejection of this principle, Le Poidevin’s argument against relationism collapses.

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Date of first online publication:July 2006
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