Mental causation and explanatory exclusion

Erkenntnis 39 (3):333-358 (1993)
Abstract
  Kim argues that we can never have more than one complete and independent explanation for a single event. The existence of both mental and physical explanations for behavior would seem to violate this principle. We can avoid violating it only if we suppose that mental causal relationships supervene on physical causal relationships. I argue that although his solution is attractive in many respects, it will not do as it stands. I propose an alternate understanding of supervenient causation which preserves the advantages of Kim's account while avoiding the problems. My analysis involves appeal to counterfactuals. Any counterfactual analysis must confront the problem that mental states appear to be screened off from causal relevance by physical states. I argue that screening off is not a problem, because cases in which mental states appear to be screened off are cases in which background conditions are not held constant
Keywords Causation  Counterfactual  Epistemology  Mental  Kim, J
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