Are mental properties causally relevant?

Dialogue 40 (3):509-528 (2001)
Non-reductive physicalists are increasingly regarded as unwitting epiphenomenalists, since their refusal to reduce mental features to physical properties allegedly implies that while there are mental causes, none of these causes produces its effects in virtue of being the type of mental state that it is. I examine, and reject, the “trope” response to this charge. I take the failure of the trope model of causal relevance to be instructive, since it illustrates a confusion that lies at the heart of the concept of causal relevance, a concept that is central to the criticism of non-reductive physicalism. By identifying this confusion, I hope to dispel the notion that non-reductive physicalism carries any commitment to epiphenomenalism
Keywords Causality  Epiphenomenalism  Metaphysics  Physicalism  Reductivism
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DOI 10.1017/S0012217300018898
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