Can dynamical systems explain mental causation?

Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (3):311-334 (2001)
Dynamical systems promise to elucidate a notion of top–down causation without violating the causal closure of physical events. This approach is particularly useful for the problem of mental causation. Since dynamical systems seek out, appropriate, and replace physical substrata needed to continue their structural pattern, the system is autonomous with respect to its components, yet the components constitute closed causal chains. But how can systems have causal power over their substrates, if each component is sufficiently caused by other components? Suppose every causal relation requires background conditions, without which it is insufficient. The dynamical system is structured with a tendency to change background conditions for causal relations anytime needed substrates for the pattern's maintenance are missing; under the changed background conditions, alternative causal relations become sufficient to maintain the pattern. The system controls the background conditions under which one or another causal relation can subserve the system's overall pattern, while the components remain causally closed under their given background conditions
Keywords Causation  Mental  Metaphysics  Neurophysiology  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index


Total downloads

1 ( #647,778 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.