Realization and mental causation

In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 23-33 (2001)
A common conception of what it is for one property to “realize” another suggests that it is the realizer property that does the causal work, and that the realized property is epiphenomenal. The same conception underlies George Bealer’s argument that functionalism leads to the absurd conclusion that what we take to be self-ascriptions of a mental state are really self-ascriptions of “first-order” properties that realize that state. This paper argues for a different concept of realization. A property realizes another if its “forward looking” causal features are a subset of those of the property realized. The instantiation of the realizer property will include the instantiation of the property realized; and when the effects produced are due to the causal features of the latter, it is the instantiation of it that is appropriately regarded as their cause. Epiphenomenalism is avoided, and so is Bealer’s absurd conclusion
Keywords Causation  Mental  Mind  Realization
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/wcp202000989
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Sydney Shoemaker (2003). Realization, Micro-Realization, and Coincidence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):1-23.
John Heil (2005). Dispositions. Synthese 144 (3):343 - 356.

View all 30 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

71 ( #47,891 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #53,688 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.