David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Quarterly 43 (176):334-53 (1993)
It is natural to think that our ordinary practices in giving explanations for our actions, for what we do, commit us to claiming that content properties are causally relevant to physical events such as the movements of our limbs and bodies, and events which these in turn cause. If you want to know why my body arnbulates across the street, or why my arm went up before I set out, we suppose I have given you an answer when I say that I wanted to greet a friend on the other side of the street, and thought that my arm's going up would be interpreted by him as a signal to stop for a moment. This widely held view' might be disputed, but I shall not argue for it in this paper. I want to start with the view that our beliefs and desires and other propositional attitudes are causally relevant, in virtue of their modes and particular contents, to our movements, in order to investigate the consequences for analyses of thought content. For this purpose, I argue, in )II, for three necessary conditions on causal relevance: (a) a nomic sufficiency condition, (b) a logical independence condition, and (c) a screening-off condition. In /III, I apply these conditions to relational and functional theories of thought content, arguing that these theories cannot accommodate the causal relevance of content properties to our behaviour. I argue further that, on two plausible assumptions, one about the dependence of the mental on the physical, and the other about the availability in principle of causal explanations of our movements in terms of our non-relational physical properties, content properties can be causally relevant only if they are nomically type-correlated, relative to certain circumstances, with non-relational physical properties of our bodies. In )IV, I respond to a number of objections that might be..
|Keywords||Causation Consciousness Content Metaphysics Mind|
|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
Jack C. Lyons (2006). In Defense of Epiphenomenalism. Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):76-794.
Similar books and articles
Robert N. Audi (1993). Mental Causation: Sustaining and Dynamic. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.
Sven Walter (2005). Program Explanations and Causal Relevance. Acta Analytica 20 (36):32-47.
Wim de Muijnck (2002). Causation by Relational Properties. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):123-137.
Graham Macdonald (2007). Emergence and Causal Powers. Erkenntnis 67 (2):239 - 253.
J. Barrett (1995). Causal Relevance and Nonreductive Physicalism. Erkenntnis 42 (3):339-62.
Till Gruene-Yanoff, Folk Psychological Realism Without Representational Commitments - the Measurement- Theoretic Account Revisited.
Kirk A. Ludwig (1994). Causal Relevance and Thought Content. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):334-353.
Stuart Glennan (2009). Productivity, Relevance and Natural Selection. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #74,252 of 1,096,519 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #93,642 of 1,096,519 )
How can I increase my downloads?