This paper argues that the non-reductive monist need not be concerned about the ‘problem’ of mental causation; one can accept both the irreducibility of mental properties to physical properties and the causal closure of the physical. More precisely, it is argued that instances of mental properties can be causally efficacious, and that there is no special barrier to seeing mental properties whose instances are causally efficacious as being causally relevant to the effects they help to bring about. It is then (...) shown that the causal relevance of mental properties is consistent with there being no downward causation, so the dilemma of ‘epiphenomenalism or reduction’ can be avoided. Non-reductive monism lives on as a viable position in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
The most comprehensive discussion available of the work of philosopher, John McDowell. Contains newly commissioned papers by distinguished philosophers on McDowell’s work, along with substantial replies to each by McDowell himself. The contributors are philosophers with international reputations for their work in the areas in which they are contributing. Covers the whole of McDowell’s philosophy, including his contributions in ancient philosophy, moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology. McDowell’s replies to the contributions in this volume contribute (...) to the body of his work. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
Aim To ascertain the quantity and nature of gifts and items provided by the pharmaceutical industry in Australia to medical specialists and to consider whether these are appropriate in terms of justifiable ethical standards, empirical research and views expressed in the literature.
One of the most original thinkers of the century, Karl Popper's work has inspired generations of philosophers, historians, and politicians. This collection of papers, specially written for this volume, offers fresh philosophical examination of key themes in Popper's philosophy, including philosophy of knowledge, science and political philosophy. Drawing from some of Popper's most important works, contributors address Popper's solution to the problem of induction, his views on conventionalism and criticism in an open society and explore his unique position in twentieth (...) century philosophy. Contributors also examine the current relevance of Popper to understanding liberal democracy, his critique of tribalism and offer new evaluations on Popper's relationship with analytic philosophy in general, and with Wittgenstein in particular as well as drawing on the studies of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein to assess Popper's conception of science. This volume offers new insights on key topics from some of Popper's most important work and is essential reading for students of Popper and anyone interested in political philosophy and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Ross & Spurrett (R&S) argue that Kim's reductionism rests on a restricted account of supervenience and a misunderstanding about causality. I contend that broadening supervenience does nothing to avoid Kim's argument and that it is difficult to see how employing different notions of causality helps to avoid the problem. I end by sketching a different solution.
There is a 'philosophers' assumption that there is a problem with the very notion of an unconscious mental state.The paper begins by outlining how the problem is generated, and proceeds to argue that certain conditions need to be fulfilled if the unconscious is to qualify as mental. An explanation is required as to why we would ever expect these conditions to be fulfilled, and it is suggested that the Freudian concept of repression has an essential role to play in such (...) an explanation. Notoriously this concept brings with it a further puzzle: it looks as though repression serves a purpose, and so requires an agent to execute this purpose, a repressor. Paradox is avoided only if repression is viewed in biologicalfunctional terms.The result is that the notion of the unconscious is saved from the a priori objections often levelled at it by philosophers.This still leaves considerable theoretical work to be done by psychological science. (shrink)
How did I raise my arm? The simple answer is that I raised it as a consequence of intending to raise it. A slightly more complicated response would mention the absence of any factors which would inhibit the execution of the intention- and a more complicated one still would specify the intention in terms of a goal (say, drinking a beer) which requires arm-raising as a means towards that end. Whatever the complications, the simple answer appears to be on the (...) right track. (shrink)