David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 152 (2):293-312 (2011)
In a recent paper, Bird (in: Groff (ed.) Revitalizing causality: Realism about causality in philosophy and social science, 2007 ) has argued that some higher-order properties—which he calls “evolved emergent properties”—can be considered causally efficacious in spite of exclusion arguments. I have previously argued in favour of a similar position. The basic argument is that selection processes do not take physical categorical properties into account. Rather, selection mechanisms are only tuned to what such properties can do, i.e., to their causal powers. This picture seems ultimately untenable in the light of further exclusion problems; but at the same time, it meets our explanatory demands. My purpose is therefore to show that there is a real antinomy with regard to evolved emergent properties. I develop a physicalist exclusion argument and then I go on to consider an argument that seems to establish that evolved emergent properties are causally efficacious, and propose a compatibilist solution. Finally, I very briefly consider what the proposed model may imply for the issue of mental causation.
|Keywords||Functional properties Emergentism Teleology Higher-level causation|
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References found in this work BETA
Karen Bennett (2003). Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It. Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
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.
Philip Clayton & P. C. W. Davies (eds.) (2006). The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis From Science to Religion. Oxford University Press.
Tim Crane & D. H. Mellor (1990). There is No Question of Physicalism. Mind 99 (394):185-206.
Citations of this work BETA
Agustin Vicente (2010). An Enlightened Revolt: On the Philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. Philosophia 38 (4):38: 631- 648.
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