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Supervenient Causation

Edited by Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto, University of Toronto at Scarborough)
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  1. William Bechtel (2007). Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes. Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
  2. Paul Coppock (1999). Supervenient Causation and Program Explanation: A Note on the Difference. Analysis 59 (4):346-354.
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  3. Tim Crane (2008). Causation and Determinable Properties : On the Efficacy of Colour, Shape, and Size. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press
    This paper presents a puzzle or antinomy about the role of properties in causation. In theories of properties, a distinction is often made between determinable properties, like red, and their determinates, like scarlet (see Armstrong 1978, volume II). Sometimes determinable properties are cited in causal explanations, as when we say that someone stopped at the traffic light because it was red. If we accept that properties can be among the relata of causation, then it can be argued that there are (...)
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  4. Tamás Demeter (2002). Supervenient Causation and Programme Explanation. Grazer Philosophische Studien 64 (1):83-93.
    Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit, and Jaegwon Kim put forward two models of higher-level causal explanation. Advocates of both versions are inclined to draw the conclusion that the models don't differ substantially. I argue, on the contrary, that there are relevant metaphysical differences between Jackson and Pettit's notion of programme explanation on the one hand, and Kim's idea of supervenient causation on the other. These can be traced back to underlying differences between the contents of their physicalisms.
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  5. John Donaldson (2014). The Super-Overdetermination Problem. Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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  6. Berent Enc (1996). Nonreducible Supervenient Causation. In Elias E. Savellos & U. Yalcin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays. Cambridge University Press 169--86.
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  7. Berent Enç (1995). Nonreducible Supervenient Causation. In Elias E. Savellos & Ümit D. Yalçin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays. Needham Heights: Cambridge 169--86.
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  8. Berent Enç (1995). Supervenience: New Essays. Needham Heights: Cambridge.
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  9. Simone Gozzano (2009). Levels, Orders and the Causal Status of Mental Properties. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):347-362.
    In recent years Jaegwon Kim has offered an argument – the ‘supervenience argument’ – to show that supervenient mental properties, construed as second- order properties distinct from their first-order realizers, do not have causal powers of their own. In response, several philosophers have argued that if Kim’s argument is sound, it generalizes in such a way as to condemn to causal impotency all properties above the level of basic physics. This paper discusses Kim’s supervenience argument in the context of his (...)
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  10. Ivar Hannikainen (2010). Questioning the Causal Inheritance Principle. Theoria 25 (3):261-277.
    Mental causation, though a forceful intuition embedded in our commonsense psychology, is difficult to square with the rest of commitments of physicalism about the mind. Advocates of mental causation have found solace in the causal inheritance principle, according to which the mental properties of mental states share the causal powers of their physical counterparts. In this paper, I present a variety of counterarguments to causal inheritance and conclude that the requirements for causal inheritance are stricter than what standing versions of (...)
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  11. Jaegwon Kim (1984). Epiphenomenal and Supervenient Causation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):257-70.
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  12. Jaegwon Kim (1984). Supervenience and Supervenient Causation. Southern Journal of Philosophy Supplement 22 (S1):45-56.
    Two concepts of supervenience, "strong supervenience" and "weak supervenience," are characterized and contrasted, And their major properties established. Supervenience as commonly characterized by philosophers is shown to correspond to weak supervenience, Whereas the intended concept is often the stronger relation. Strong supervenience is applied to explicate the notion of "supervenient causation," and it is argued that macro-Causal relations can be understood as cases of supervenient causation, And that causal relations involving psychological events, Too, Can be so understood.
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  13. Thomas Kroedel (2015). A Simple Argument for Downward Causation. Synthese 192 (3):841-858.
    Instances of many supervenient properties have physical effects. In particular, instances of mental properties have physical effects if non-reductive physicalism is true. This follows by a straightforward argument that assumes a counterfactual criterion for causation. The paper presents that argument and discusses several issues that arise from it. In particular, the paper addresses the worry that the argument shows too many supervenient property-instances to have physical effects. The argument is also compared to a similar argument that has been suggested by (...)
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  14. Thomas Kroedel (2008). Mental Causation as Multiple Causation. Philosophical Studies 139 (1):125-143.
    The paper argues that mental causation can be explained from the sufficiency of counterfactual dependence for causation together with relatively weak assumptions about the metaphysics of mind. If a physical event counterfactually depends on an earlier physical event, it also counterfactually depends on, and hence is caused by, a mental event that correlates with (or supervenes on) this earlier physical event, provided that this correlation (or supervenience) is sufficiently modally robust. This account of mental causation is consistent with the overdetermination (...)
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  15. Thomas Kroedel & Moritz Schulz (forthcoming). Grounding Mental Causation. Synthese:1-15.
    This paper argues that the exclusion problem for mental causation can be solved by a variant of non-reductive physicalism that takes the mental not merely to supervene on, but to be grounded in, the physical. A grounding relation between events can be used to establish a principle that links the causal relations of grounded events to those of grounding events. Given this principle, mental events and their physical grounds either do not count as overdetermining physical effects, or they do so (...)
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  16. C. MacDonald & G. MacDonald (1995). Introduction: Supervenient Causation. In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Philosophy of Psychology. Blackwell 4--28.
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  17. Cynthia Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald (1995). Supervenient Causation. In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Philosophy of Psychology: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Cambridge: Blackwell
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  18. Brian P. McLaughlin (1983). Event Supervenience and Supervenient Causation. Southern Journal of Philosophy Supplement 22 (S1):71-91.
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  19. Brian P. McLaughlin (1983). Response: Event Supervenience and Supervenient Causation. Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (Supplement):71-91.
    In this paper, I examine, from a metaphysical point of view, a recent notable attempt by Jaegwon Kim to explain how macro-events are dependent on micro-events and how causal transactions between macro-events are dependent on causal transactions between micro-events.
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  20. Walter Ott (2010). Locke's Exclusion Argument. History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (2):181-196.
    In this paper, I argue that Locke is not in fact agnostic about the ultimate nature of the mind. In particular, he produces an argument, much like Jaegwon Kim's exclusion argument, to show that any materialist view that takes mental states to supervene on physical states is committed to epiphenomenalism. This result helps illuminate Locke's otherwise puzzling notion of 'superaddition.'.
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  21. David Papineau (2013). Causation is Macroscopic but Not Irreducible. In Sophie C. Gibb & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford University Press 126.
    In this paper I argue that causation is an essentially macroscopic phenomenon, and that mental causes are therefore capable of outcompeting their more specific physical realizers as causes of physical effects. But I also argue that any causes must be type-identical with physical properties, on pain of positing inexplicable physical conspiracies. I therefore allow macroscopic mental causation, but only when it is physically reducible.
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  22. David Pineda (2011). Non-Committal Causal Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
    Some causal explanations are non-committal in that mention of a property in the explanans conveys information about the causal origin of the explanandum even if the property in question plays no causal role for the explanandum . Programme explanations are a variety of non-committal causal (NCC) explanations. Yet their interest is very limited since, as I will argue in this paper, their range of applicability is in fact quite narrow. However there is at least another variety of NCC explanations, causal (...)
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  23. David Pineda (2005). Causal Exclusion and Causal Homogeneity. Dialectica 59 (1):63-66.
    In this brief note I claim that, contrary to what Esfeld argues in his paper in this same volume, Kim's position with respect to the problem of causal exclusion does indeed commit him to the causal heterogeneity of realized properties.
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  24. Simon Prosser (2012). Emergent Causation. Philosophical Studies 159 (1):21-39.
    Downward causation is commonly held to create problems for ontologically emergent properties. In this paper I describe two novel examples of ontologically emergent properties and show how they avoid two main problems of downward causation, the causal exclusion problem and the causal closure problem. One example involves an object whose colour does not logically supervene on the colours of its atomic parts. The other example is inspired by quantum entanglement cases but avoids controversies regarding quantum mechanics. These examples show that (...)
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  25. Lee-Anna Sangster, Kim�s Toppling House of Cards: An Argument Against the �Micro-Based Property� Solution.
    of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) In response to the “Causal Drainage” objection to his Supervenience Argument, Kim introduces micro-based properties and argues that their presence prohibits any causal drainage between metaphysical levels. Noordhof disagrees and instead argues that the causal powers of the �micro-bases� of micro-based properties seem to preempt the causal powers of micro-based properties, in much the same way as Kim claims the powers of subvening base properties preempt the powers of supervenient properties. Thus Noordhof argues (...)
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  26. Elias E. Savellos & Ümit D. Yalçin (eds.) (1995). Supervenience: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.
    Supervenience is one of the 'hot discoveries' of recent analytic philosophy, and this collection of new essays on the topic represents a 'state of the art' examination of it and its application to major areas of philosophy. The interest in supervenience has much to do with the flexibility of the concept. To say that x supervenes on y indicates a degree of dependence without committing one to the view that x can be reduced to y. Thus supervenience is a relationship (...)
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  27. Ernest Sosa (1984). Mind-Body Interaction and Supervenient Causation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):271-81.
    The mind-body problem arises because of our status as double agents apparently en rapport both with the mental and with the physical. We think, desire, decide, plan, suffer passions, fall into moods, are subject to sensory experiences, ostensibly perceive, intend, reason, make believe, and so on. We also move, have a certain geographical position, a certain height and weight, and we are sometimes hit or cut or burned. In other words, human beings have both minds and bodies. What is the (...)
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  28. Andras Szigeti (2014). Collective Responsibility and Group-Control. In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Springer 97-116.
  29. Agustín Vicente (2001). Realization, Determination and Mental Causation. Theoria 16 (40):77-94.
    The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relation, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...)
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  30. Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (2014). Causally Redundant Social Objects Rejoinder to Elder-Vass. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):798-809.
    In Elder-Vass’s response to my critical discussion of his social ontology, it is maintained (1) that a social object is not identical with but is merely composed of its suitably interrelated parts, (2) that a social object is necessarily indistinguishable in terms of its causal capacities from its interrelated parts, and (3) that ontological individualism lacks an adequate ontological justification. In this reply, I argue that in view of (1) the so-called redescription principle defended by Elder-Vass ought to be reformulated (...)
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  31. Brad Weslake (forthcoming). Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press
    Consider the following causal exclusion principle: For all distinct properties F and F* such that F* supervenes on F, F and F* do not both cause a property G. Peter Menzies and Christian List have proven that it follows from a natural conception of causation as difference-making that this exclusion principle is not generally true. Rather, it turns out that whether the principle is true is a contingent matter. In addition, they have shown that in a wide range of empirically (...)
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  32. Lei Zhong (2012). Counterfactuals, Regularity and the Autonomy Approach. Analysis 72 (1):75-85.
    Many philosophers insist that the most plausible solution to the exclusion problem is to adopt the so-called ‘autonomy approach’, which denies either upward or downward causation between mental and physical properties. But the question of whether the autonomy approach is compatible with respectable theories of causation has seldom been discussed in the literature. This paper considers two influential theories of causation, the counterfactual account and the regularity account. I argue that neither the counterfactual theory nor the regularity theory can support (...)
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  33. Lei Zhong (2011). Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
    A quite popular approach to solving the Causal Exclusion Problem is to adopt a counterfactual theory of causation. In this paper, I distinguish three versions of the Causal Exclusion Argument. I argue that the counterfactualist approach can block the first two exclusion arguments, because the Causal Inheritance Principle and the Upward Causation Principle upon which the two arguments are based respectively are problematic from the perspective of the counterfactual account of causation. However, I attempt to show that the counterfactualist approach (...)
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  34. Dean W. Zimmerman (1998). Temporal Parts and Supervenient Causation: The Incompatibility of Two Humean Doctrines. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):265 – 288.