Graduate studies at Western
In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence and Causation (forthcoming)
|Abstract||The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of those of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them.2 More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view about the causal autonomy of specialscience properties. They argue that since these properties can typically have multiple physical realizations, they are not identical to physical properties, and further they possess causal powers that differ from those of their physical realizers.3 Despite the orthodoxy of this view, it is hard to find a clear exposition of its meaning or a defence of it in terms of a well-motivated account of causation. In this paper, we aim to address this gap in the literature by clarifying what is implied by the doctrine of the causal autonomy of special-science properties and by defending the doctrine using a prominent theory of causation from the philosophy of science. The theory of causation we employ is a simplified version of an “interventionist” theory advanced by James Woodward (2003, forthcoming a, b), according to which a cause makes a counterfactual difference to its effects. In terms of this theory, it is possible to show that a special-science property can make a difference to some effect while the physical property that realizes it does not. Although other philosophers have also used counterfactual analyses of causation to argue for the causal autonomy of special-science properties,4 the theory of causation we employ is able to establish this with an unprecedented level of precision..|
|Keywords||Exclusion Interventionist theory of causation counterfactual difference-making|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Alyssa Ney (2009). Physical Causation and Difference-Making. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
Ned Block (2003). Do Causal Powers Drain Away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
Panu Raatikainen (2010). Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences. Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
Graham Macdonald (2007). Emergence and Causal Powers. Erkenntnis 67 (2):239 - 253.
Lei Zhong (2012). Counterfactuals, Regularity and the Autonomy Approach. Analysis 72 (1):75-85.
Alexander Rueger (2004). Reduction, Autonomy, and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties. Synthese 139 (1):1-21.
Michael Baumgartner (2009). Interventionist Causal Exclusion and Non-Reductive Physicalism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):161-178.
Lei Zhong (2011). Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
Christian List & Peter Menzies (2009). Nonreductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle. Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
Anthony B. Dardis (2002). A No Causal Rivalry Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation. Acta Analytica 17 (28):69-77.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads88 ( #10,122 of 739,347 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #17,125 of 739,347 )
How can I increase my downloads?