Mental causation in a physical world

Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50 (2005)
Abstract
Abstract: It is generally accepted that the most serious threat to the possibility of mental causation is posed by the causal self-sufficiency of physical causal processes. I argue, however, that this feature of the world, which I articulate in principle I call Completeness, in fact poses no genuine threat to mental causation. Some find Completeness threatening to mental causation because they confuse it with a stronger principle, which I call Closure. Others do not simply conflate Completeness and Closure, but hold that Completeness, together with certain plausible assumptions, _entails_ Closure. I refute the most fully worked-out version of such an argument. Finally, some find Completeness all by itself threatening to mental causation. I argue that one will only find Completeness threatening if one operates with a philosophically distorted conception of mental causation. I thereby defend what I call naïve realism about mental causation
Keywords Closure  Mental Causation  Metaphysics  Physical
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References found in this work BETA
Lynne Rudder Baker (1993). Metaphysics and Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press. 75-96.
Ned Block (1989). Can the Mind Change the World? In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press. 137--170.
J. Fodor (1989). Making Mind Matter More. Philosophical Topics 17 (11):59-79.

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Lynne Rudder Baker (1993). Metaphysics and Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press. 75-96.
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