David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Review 115 (1):79-103 (2006)
to counterintuitive results. Suppose a mental event, m1, causes another mental event, m2. Unless the mental and the physical are completely independent, there will be a physical event in your brain or your body or the physical world as a whole that underlies this event. The mental event occurs at least partly in virtue of the physical event’s occurring. And the same goes for m2  and p2. Let’s not worry about what exactly “underlying” or “in virtue of” means here. Here’s the picture. m1 -----> m2 | | p1 -----> p2 The horizontal arrows represent causation, and the vertical lines represent underlying, whatever that may be. There’s some reason to think that the only way m1 can bring about m2 is by bringing about p2. You can’t convince someone of something through mental telepathy. You need to interact with the physical world, perhaps by saying something and so making some noise, or by pointing and getting them to turn their head and see. What goes for the case of two people goes for the case of one person as well. Superstition aside, there is no purely mental energy that floats free of the merely physical workings of the brain. If m1 brings about m2 by bringing about p2, then m1 brings about p2. This is downward causation. But wait. Doesn’t p1 bring about p2? Isn’t that what the bottom arrow represents? Maybe m1 and p1 work together to bring about p2. There are little holes in the physical causal structure that need to be filled by mental events. You don’t need a sweeping metaphysical thesis about the causal closure of the physical to find this implausible. Maybe p2 is overdetermined
|Keywords||Causation Level Mental Causation Metaphysics Relevance|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Lei Zhong (2012). Counterfactuals, Regularity and the Autonomy Approach. Analysis 72 (1):75-85.
Lei Zhong (2011). Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
Markus E. Schlosser (2011). The Metaphysics of Rule-Following. Philosophical Studies 155 (3):345-369.
Lei Zhong (2015). Semantic Normativity and Semantic Causality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):n/a-n/a.
Dwayne Moore (2013). Counterfactuals, Autonomy and Downward Causation: Reply to Zhong. Philosophia 41 (3):831-839.
Similar books and articles
Wim de Muijnck (2004). Two Types of Mental Causation. Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):21-35.
David Robb (1997). The Properties of Mental Causation. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):178-94.
David Papineau (2013). Causation is Macroscopic but Not Irreducible. In Sophie C. Gibb & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford University Press 126.
Eric Marcus (2005). Mental Causation in a Physical World. Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.
Markus E. Schlosser (2009). Non-Reductive Physicalism, Mental Causation and the Nature of Actions. In H. Leitgeb & A. Hieke (eds.), Reduction: Between the Mind and the Brain. Ontos
Lynne Rudder Baker (1993). Metaphysics and Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press 75-96.
Jaegwon Kim (1992). The Nonreductivist's Trouble with Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press
Thomas Kroedel (2008). Mental Causation as Multiple Causation. Philosophical Studies 139 (1):125-143.
Tyler Burge (1993). Mind-Body Causation and Explanatory Practice. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads198 ( #17,308 of 1,934,801 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #33,894 of 1,934,801 )
How can I increase my downloads?