David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 145 (1):149 - 169 (2009)
How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, 'determination') provides the key to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don't causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can't be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted
|Keywords||determinables determinates determinable determinate relation realization physical realization Douglas Ehring Stephen Yablo emergence physicalism mental causation|
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References found in this work BETA
Lenny Clapp (2001). Disjunctive Properties. Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):111 - 136.
Douglas E. Ehring (1996). Mental Causation, Determinables, and Property Instances. Noûs 30 (4):461-80.
Eric Funkhouser (2006). The Determinable-Determinate Relation. Noûs 40 (3):548–569.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jessica M. Wilson (2005). Supervenience-Based Formulations of Physicalism. Noûs 39 (3):426-459.
Jessica M. Wilson (2010). Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom. British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
Matthew C. Haug (2010). Realization, Determination, and Mechanisms. Philosophical Studies 150 (3):313-330.
Carl Gillett (2011). Multiply Realizing Scientific Properties and Their Instances. Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):727-738.
Jeff Engelhardt (2012). Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause. Acta Analytica 27 (3):231-246.
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