Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause

Acta Analytica 27 (3):231-246 (2012)
A great deal has been written over the past decade defending ‘higher-level’ causes by arguing that overdetermination is more complex than many philosophers initially thought. Although two shooters overdetermine the death of a firing squad victim, a baseball and its parts do not overdetermine the breaking of a window. But while these analyses of overdetermination have no doubt been fruitful, the focus on overdetermination—while ignoring other varieties of causal relation—has limited the discussion. Many of the cases of interest resemble joint causes or a cause necessitating a simultaneous epiphenomenon as much as they resemble overdeterminers. If we are to fully understand higher-level causation, we need to distinguish it from these causal relations as well. This paper is dedicated to the task, focusing especially on the ‘threat’ that higher-level causes are epiphenomena necessitated by lower-level causes.
Keywords Mental causation  Non-fundamentalia  Overdetermination  Epiphenomena  Causal exclusion  Non-reductive physicalism
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0147-3
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Jeff Engelhardt (2015). What is the Exclusion Problem? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
Jeff Engelhardt (2014). Married Causes. Acta Analytica 29 (2):161-180.

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