Lyrics written by Kris McDaniel
Kris McDaniel: vocals, keyboards, edrums, hand percussion
Ben Bradley: electric guitar, bass guitar
Carrie Jenkins: vocals
Will Bradley: trumpet
Cover art by Carrie Jenkins
Humean Supervenience is the metaphysical theory that all the features of our world are determined by the distribution of properties and relations of simple objects. These simple objects stand in no necessary connection to each other.
Imagine a pointillist painting of a face. This painting consists of a series of tiny dots of color at various distances from each other. If you want to change the appearance of the face, you have to do something with the dots: delete some of them, or add more to them, or change the colors of the dots, or change how distant the dots are from each other. The existence of the face and the features that it has are functions of what the dots are like and how they are arranged. And no dot stands in any necessary connection with any of the other dots. For example, I can change a dot in the left-hand corner of the painting without changing any other dot in the painting. If Humean Supervenience is true, our world is like this pointillist painting: all the macro features of things, such as our faces, are determined by the features and arrangements of simple things, the analogues of the dots.
David Lewis was arguably the most significant metaphysician of the 20th century, and a decent sized chunk of his metaphysical work consists in trying show how we can make sense of wide variety of phenomena, such as causation, morality, consciousness, and meaning, even if Humean Supervenience is true.
One damn thing after another
Spread across all spacetime
In worm-shaped lines
Nothing over and above to discover
Nothing to necessarily bind
Nothing to make you mine
But colors, causation, mind, modality,
Morals, and meaning
Distributed across this mosaic
On which they’re all supervening
Now I know what I’ve been fighting for
Now I know what I’ve been fighting for, all this time
To find a home for all the phenomena
But not mysteriously
To analyze them all in terms of the fundamental