Graduate studies at Western
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):359-383 (2010)
|Abstract||In a recent paper, Shapiro and Sober (2007) defend two claims with respect to the master argument for epiphenomenalism, which is designed to rebut non-reductive physicalism: (i) relative to an interventionist account of causation, as most elaborately presented in (Woodward 2003), the master argument turns out to be invalid; and (ii) interventionism provides a means to experimentally uncover micro effects of macro causes. The first part of this paper takes issue with both of these claims by showing that Woodward’s interventionism and non-reductive physicalism are incompatible—contrary to Shapiro’s and Sober’s assessment. The second part then discusses two possible modifications of Woodward’s theory, both of which ensure the compatibility of interventionism and non-reductive physicalism. Nonetheless, it shall turn out that neither of those modifications suits the purposes of non-reductive physicalists.|
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