David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 43 (2):181-202 (2000)
Physicalism ? or roughly the view that the stuff that physics talks about is all the stuff there is ? has had a popular press in philosophical circles during the twentieth century. And yet, at the same time, it has become quite fashionable lately to believe that the mind matters in this world after all and that psychology is an autonomous science irreducible to physics. However, if (true, downward) mental causation implies non-reducibility and Physicalism implies the converse, it is hard to see how these two views could be compatible. This paper reviews some classical arguments purportedly showing how the autonomy of the special sciences can be upheld without violating the laws of physics or the principle that physics constitutes a complete and closed system. These arguments are presented in order of increasing strength, indicating how the more popular arguments in fact fall short of establishing anti-reductionism of the intended kind. New arguments are added which claim to demonstrate quite effectively how downward causation is possible compatibly with the reign of physics. The paper begins with a section which distinguishes various kinds of reductionism
|Keywords||Causation Physicalism Psychology Reduction Science|
|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
John Mingers (2011). The Contribution of Systemic Thought to Critical Realism. Journal of Critical Realism 10 (3):303-330.
Similar books and articles
Jaegwon Kim (1992). "Downward Causation" in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter. 119--138.
Xiaoping Chen (2010). How Does Downward Causation Exist?—A Comment on Kim's Elimination of Downward Causation. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (4):652-665.
Menno Hulswit (2005). How Causal is Downward Causation? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 36 (2):261 - 287.
Carl Gillett (2002). Strong Emergence as a Defense of Non-Reductive Physicalism: A Physicalist Metaphysics for 'Downward' Determination. Principia 6 (1):89-120.
Jack Ritchie (2005). Causal Compatibilism -- What Chance? Erkenntnis 63 (1):119-132.
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.
A. M. Soto, C. Sonnenschein & P. A. Miquel (2008). On Physicalism and Downward Causation in Developmental and Cancer Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4).
Tim Crane & D. H. Mellor (1990). There is No Question of Physicalism. Mind 99 (394):185-206.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads52 ( #30,694 of 1,101,158 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #17,025 of 1,101,158 )
How can I increase my downloads?