David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 164 (2):321-340 (2013)
In trying to establish the view that there are no non-living macrophysical objects, Trenton Merricks has produced an influential argument—the Overdetermination Argument—against the causal efficacy of composite objects. A serious problem for the Overdetermination Argument is the ambiguity in the notion of overdetermination that is being employed, which is due to the fact that Merricks does not provide any theory of causation to support his claims. Once we adopt a plausible theory of causation, viz. interventionism, problems with the Overdetermination will become evident. After laying out the Overdetermination Argument and examining one extant objection to it, I will explicate the relevant aspects of an interventionist theory of causation and provide a characterization of overdetermination that follows from such an account. From this, I will argue that the Causal Principle that undergirds the Overdetermination Argument is false and hence the argument is invalid; and I claim that the only other available characterization of overdetermination would render a key premise in the argument false. Thus, the Overdetermination Argument fails to provide us with any reason to deny the causal efficacy of macrophysical objects, and therefore provides no reason to doubt their existence
|Keywords||Eliminativism Overdetermination Interventionism Material objects|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
By Amie L. Thomasson (2006). Metaphysical Arguments Against Ordinary Objects. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):340–359.
D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
Michael Baumgartner (2010). Interventionism and Epiphenomenalism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):359-383.
Karen Bennett (2008). Exclusion Again. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
Tyler Burge (2007). Foundations of Mind. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Agustín Vicente (2004). The Overdetermination Argument Revisited. Minds and Machines 14 (3):331-47.
Eric Funkhouser (2002). Three Varieties of Causal Overdetermination. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):335-351.
John W. Carroll & William R. Carter (2005). An Unstable Eliminativism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):1–17.
Sven Walter (2008). The Supervenience Argument, Overdetermination, and Causal Drainage: Assessing Kim's Master Argument. Philosophical Psychology 21 (5):673 – 696.
Agustín Vicente (2006). On the Causal Completeness of Physics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
Charles M. Hermes (2006). The Overdetermination Argument Against Eliminativism. Southwest Philosophy Review 22 (1):113-119.
D. Gene Witmer (2000). Locating the Overdetermination Problem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (2):273-286.
Dwayne Moore (2012). Causal Exclusion and Dependent Overdetermination. Erkenntnis 76 (3):319-335.
L. A. Paul (2007). 13 Constitutive Overdetermination. In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation. Mit Press. 4--265.
Simona Aimar (2011). Counterfactuals, Overdetermination and Mental Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3):469-477.
Kevin Morris (2011). Subset Realization, Parthood, and Causal Overdetermination. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):363-379.
Brandon Carey (2010). Overdetermination And The Exclusion Problem. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):251 - 262.
Simona Aimar (2011). Counterfactuals, Overdetermination and Mental Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):469-477.
Paul Noordhof (1999). The Overdetermination Argument Versus the Cause-and-Essence Principle--No Contest. Mind 108 (430):367-375.
Thomas D. Bontly (2005). Exclusion, Overdetermination, and the Nature of Causation. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:261-282.
Added to index2012-01-20
Total downloads70 ( #19,741 of 1,098,623 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #26,702 of 1,098,623 )
How can I increase my downloads?