Primitive causal relations and the pairing problem

Ratio 24 (1):1-16 (2011)
Abstract
There is no doubt that spatial relations aid us in pairing up causes and effects. But when we consider the possibility of qualitatively indiscernible things, it might seem that spatial relations are more than a mere aid – they might seem positively required. The belief that spatial relations are required for causal relations is behind an important objection to Cartesian Dualism, the pairing problem. I argue that the Cartesian can answer this objection by appeal to the possibility of primitive causal relations, a possibility I defend. This topic is of importance beyond the philosophy of mind; the possibility that causal relations might sometimes hold brutely is of general metaphysical importance. I close with a discussion of what Cartesians should say about embodiment, and how that bears on issues of mental causation
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