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Anomalous monism is the name of Donald Davidson’s theory of the mind body relation. It holds that (1) there can be no strict laws governing mental events qua mental events, but that (2) every event is governed by strict laws of physics. Thus anomalous monism adverts to mental-physical token identity. Critics of anomalous monism argue that while mental events could be causes of physical events they were causes in virtue of the physical properties, thus leaving the mental properties epiphenomenal.  

Key works Key works about anomalous monism and mental causation include the articles by Davidson wherein the theory is expounded, including  Mental Events;  Psychology as Philosophy; and  Actions, Reasons and Causes. Key works in the epiphenomenalist criticism of anomalous monism are Kim's  The Myth of Non-Reductive Materialism, and Can Supervenience and 'Non-strict Laws' Save Anomalous Monism? as well as McLaughlin's On Davidsons's Response to the Charge of Epiphenomenalism.   
Introductions Anomalous Monism by Julie Yoo in the Oxford Handbook to Philosophy of Mind. Anomalous Monism by Steven Yalowitz in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 
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  1. The Other Explanatory Gap.Julie Yoo - manuscript
    One of the driving questions in philosophy of mind is whether a person can be understood in purely physical terms. In this presentation, I wish to continue the project initiated by Donald Davidson, whose subtle position on this question has left many more perplexed than enlightened. The main reason for this perplexity is Davidson’s rather obscure pronouncements about the normativity of intentionality and its role in supporting psychophysical anomalism – the claim that there are no laws bridging our intentional states (...)
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  2. Mental Causation.Rebekah L. H. Rice - forthcoming - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
  3. Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism about consciousness, a view that has not previously been explored in any detail. We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions: first, a theory might be physicalist or dualist; second, a theory might endorse any of the three following views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), and (...)
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  4. Mental Causation.Rodolfo Giorgi & Andrea Lavazza - 2018 - Aphex 17.
    This article aims to provide a brief overview of mental causation problem and its current proposed solutions. Indeed, mental causation turns out as one of the most difficult philosophical conundrums in contemporary philosophy of mind. In the first two sections, we offer an outline of the problem and the philosophical debate about it, and show that mental causation problem is pivotal within the contemporary philosophy of mind. In the third section, we focus on the most popular models of mental causation, (...)
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  5. Monismo. Anómalo?: Donald Davidson e o problema da causalidade mental.Diana Couto - 2017 - Kinesis 20 (9):61-86.
  6. Morse, Mind, and Mental Causation.Michael S. Pardo & Dennis Patterson - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (1):111-126.
    Stephen Morse’s illuminating scholarship on law and neuroscience relies on a “folk psychological” account of human behavior in order to defend the law’s foundations for ascribing legal responsibility. The heart of Morse’s account is the notion of “mental state causation,” in which mental states cause behavior. Morse argues that causation of this sort is necessary to support legal responsibility. We challenge this claim. First, we discuss problems with the conception of mental causation on which Morse appears to rely. Second, we (...)
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  7. Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.
    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving multiple rock-throwers, and thus not problematic. This paper pushes back. I argue that attention to differences between types of overdetermination discharges very few explanatory burdens, and that overdetermination is a bigger problem for the nonreductive metaphysician than previously thought.
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  8. Das 'eigentlich schwierige Problem' phänomenaler Wahrnehmung.Dieter Wandschneider - 2015 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 69 (4):550-568.
    The center of this investigation is the ‘real hard problem’ of phenomenal perception (Chalmers), i.e. of the qualitative kind of perception presenting the subject with forms, colors, smell, pleasurable or negative feelings etc.; the problem of Human consciousness, however, will explicitly not be treated. The ‘explanatory gap’ (Levine) complained by the philosophy of mind, that is to say the failure of all attempts to supply a neuronal explanation of experiences, is emergence-theoretically treated: Systems own properties and laws different from their (...)
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  9. Monismo anômalo: uma reconstrução e revisão da literatura.Marcelo Fischborn - 2014 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 18 (1):53-66.
    Este artigo reconstrói os argumentos de Donald Davidson (1970) em favor de sua teoria do monismo anômalo e revisa as principais críticas que recebeu. Essa teoria é amplamente rejeitada atualmente e, dadas as inúmeras críticas recebidas, é razoável concluir que qualquer tentativa de reabilitação tem um longo caminho pela frente. A diversidade dessas críticas sugere que não há consenso sobre por que exatamente o monismo anômalo fracassa, embora as dificuldades pareçam convergir sobre a justificação e possibilidade da tese monista, e (...)
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  10. On the Distinction Between Law Schemata and Causal Laws.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (4):423-434.
    The paper argues against the widely accepted assumption that the causal laws of (completed) physics, in contrast to those of the special sciences, are essentially strict. This claim played an important role already in debates about the anomalousness of the mental, and it currently experiences a renaissance in various discussions about mental causation, projectability of special science laws, and the nature of physical laws. By illustrating the distinction with some paradigmatic physical laws, the paper demonstrates that only law schemata are (...)
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  11. Relewancja kauzalna a nominalizm. Kilka uwag na temat ontologii Davidsona.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2012 - Filozofia Nauki 20 (1).
    The paper presents a rejoinder to Katarzyna Paprzycka's critique of my defence of Davidson's ontology. According to Paprzycka the epiphenomenalists objection to the doctrine of anomalous monism, considered as an internal objection, is unquestionably flawed, but when it comes to some external interpretations of the objection in question — it is justified. The text provides a couple of arguments and comments which are intended to show that in most cases the external objection to anomalous monism is in fact either uncharitable (...)
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  12. O krytyce i pochwale zewnętrznej, o życzliwości interpretacyjnej i ludzkiej — w odpowiedzi Mariuszowi Grygiańcowi.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2012 - Filozofia Nauki 20 (1).
    The paper is a reaction to M. Grygianiec’s reply in a discussion sparked on by his paper on the status of the epiphenomenalism objection. I correct some misunderstandings. In addition I offer an intuitive summary of my reconstruction of the debate. I show that Grynianiec’s reply does not undermine the reconstruction. I argue that to the extent that (external) praise of Davidson’s ideas is possible, so is external criticism. Moreover, I argue that interpretative charity demands a charitable stance not only (...)
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  13. Monismo anômalo, fisicalismo, causalidade mental.Andrea Schimmenti - 2012 - Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 17 (2):43-75.
    This paper focuses some aspects of a debate which took place between Donald Davidson and Jaegwon Kim, about the problem of causal efficacy of mental properties in the physical world. The most famous expression of davidsoniannon reductive physicalism, the argument of Anomalous Monism, was criticized by Kim, because it tries to harmonize two allegations that can´t coexist in a physicalist thesis, and have to be considered as incompatible from a physicalistpoint of view. The first of these allegations is theAnomaly of (...)
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  14. Boundless Thought. The Case of Conceptual Mental Episodes.Pierre Steiner - 2012 - Manuscrito 35 (2):269-309.
    I present and defend here a thesis named vehicleless externalism for conceptual mental episodes. According to it, the constitutive relations there are between the production of conceptual mental episodes by an individual and the inclusion of this individual in social discursive practices make it non-necessary to equate, even partially, conceptual mental episodes with the occurrence of physical events inside of that individual. Conceptual mental episodes do not have subpersonal vehicles; they have owners: persons in interpretational practices. That thesis is grounded (...)
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  15. The Epiphenomenalism Charge as an External Objection to Anomalous Monism.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2011 - Filozofia Nauki 19 (2):135.
  16. A máquina semântica de Freud: do mecanismo à intencionalidade.Claudia Passos-Ferreira - 2011 - São Paulo: Annablume.
  17. Emergence and Downward Causation.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 2010 - In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
  18. Reconciling Anomalous Monism with Scheme-Content Dualism: A Reply to Manuel de Pinedo.Dwayne Moore - 2010 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):51-62.
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  19. Explanatory Exclusion and Causal Exclusion.Sophie C. Gibb - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (2):205-221.
    Given Kim’s principle of explanatory exclusion (EE), it follows that in addition to the problem of mental causation, dualism faces a problem of mental explanation. However, the plausibility of EE rests upon the acceptance of a further principle concerning the individuation of explanation (EI). The two methods of defending EI—either by combining an internal account of the individuation of explanation with a semantical account of properties or by accepting an external account of the individuation of explanation—are both metaphysically implausible. This (...)
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  20. Monizm anomalny i epifenomenalizm.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2009 - Filozofia Nauki 17 (2).
    In the text Jaegwon Kim's epiphenomenalist objection to anomalous monism is critically discussed and refuted. The author tries to show that the objection in question originates mainly on the basis of disregarding of Davidsonian ontology - particularly his views on properties and events. The main aim of the paper is to demonstrate that the epiphenomenalist objection does not arise, if we are prepared to take Davidson's ontology seriously.
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  21. Anomalous Monism.Julie Yoo - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
    This is an overview of Davidson's theory of anomalous monism. Objections and replies are also detailed.
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  22. Mental Causation: The Mind-Body Problem.Anthony Dardis - 2008 - Columbia University Press.
    Anthony Dardis shows how to unravel the knot. He traces its early appearance in the history of philosophical inquiry, specifically in the work of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and T. H. Huxley.
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  23. Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause (...)
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  24. On the Phenomenon of “Dog- Wise Arrangement”.Crawford L. Elder - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):132–155.
    An influential line of thought in metaphysics holds that where common sense discerns a tree or a dog or a baseball there may be just many microparticles. Provided the microparticles are arranged in the right way -- are “treewise” or “dogwise” or “baseballwise” arranged -- our sensory experiences will be just the same as if a tree or dog or baseball were really there. Therefore whether there really are suchfamiliar objects in the world can be decided only by determining what (...)
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  25. Causation and Mental Causation.Jaegwon Kim - 2007 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 227--242.
  26. Mental Causation.Julie Yoo - 2007 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is an encyclopedia entry on accounts of mental causation, starting from Descartes to the present.
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  27. Anomalous Monism: Oscillating Between Dogmas.M. De Pinedo - 2006 - Synthese 148 (1):79-97.
    Davidson’s anomalous monism, his argument for the identity between mental and physical event tokens, has been frequently attacked, usually demanding a higher degree of physicalist commitment. My objection runs in the opposite direction: the identities inferred by Davidson from mental causation, the nomological character of causality and the anomaly of the mental are philosophically problematic and, more dramatically, incompatible with his famous argument against the third dogma of empiricism, the separation of content from conceptual scheme. Given the anomaly of the (...)
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  28. Why Davidson is Not a Property Epiphenomenalist.Sophie Gibb - 2006 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):407 – 422.
    Despite the fact that Davidson's theory of the causal relata is crucial to his response to the problem of mental causation - that of anomalous monism - it is commonly overlooked within discussions of his position. Anomalous monism is accused of entailing property epiphenomenalism, but given Davidson's understanding of the causal relata, such accusations are wholly misguided. There are, I suggest, two different forms of property epiphenomenalism. The first understands the term 'property' in an ontological sense, the second in a (...)
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  29. The Metaphysics of Mental Causation.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (11):539-576.
    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 (...)
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  30. Daydreams and Anarchy: A Defense of Anomalous Mental Causation.Nick Zangwill - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):253-289.
    Must mental properties figure in psychological causal laws if they are causally efficacious? And do those psychological causal laws give the essence of mental properties? Contrary to the prevailing consensus, I argue that, on the usual conception of laws that is in play in these debates, there are in fact lawless causally efficacious properties both in and out of the philosophy of mind. I argue that this makes a great difference to the philosophical relevance of empirical psychology. I begin by (...)
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  31. Whitehead’s Ontology and Davidson’s Anomalous Monism.Pierfrancesco Basile - 2005 - Process Studies 34 (1):3-9.
  32. The Nomological Principle and the Argument for Anomalous Monism.Hagit Benbaji - 2005 - Iyyun 54 (January):90-108.
  33. Davidson on the Impossibility of Psychophysical Laws.Gary L. Herstein - 2005 - Synthese 145 (1):45-63.
    Donald Davidsons classic argument for the impossibility of reducing mental events to physicallistic ones is analyzed and formalized in relational logic. This makes evident the scope of Davidsons argument, and shows that he is essentially offering a negative transcendental argument, i.e., and argument to the impossibility of certain kinds of logical relations. Some final speculations are offered as to why such a move might, nevertheless, have a measure of plausibility.
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  34. Holisme, référence et irréductibilité du mental.Martin Montminy - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (3):419-437.
    RÉSUMÉ: J’examine en détail l’argument vaguement suggéré par Davidson selon lequel le holisme entraînerait l’irreductibilité du mental. Je défends cet argument contre deux objections souvent faites contre des arguments visant à dériver des thèses métaphysiques à partir de prémisses portant sur nos critères ordinaires d’application de nos termes. J’invoque la sémantique bidimensionnelle pour expliquer les liensentre ces critères et les questions touchant la référence et la réduction. Je montre comment l’irréductibilité du mental dérive du caractère holiste et flexible des critères (...)
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  35. Anomalous Monism.Steven Yalowitz - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  36. Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Mind: A Reader.Neil Campbell - 2003
  37. Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Mind.Neil Campbell (ed.) - 2003 - Broadview Press.
    Since Descartes’s division of the human subject into mental and physical components in the seventeenth century, there has been a great deal of discussion about how—indeed, whether or not—our mental states bring about our physical behavior. Through historical and contemporary readings, this collection explores this lively and important issue. In four parts, this anthology introduces the problem of mental causation, explores the debate sparked by Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, examines Frank Jackson's knowledge argument for the view that qualia are epiphenomenal, (...)
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  38. Causes and Causal Explanations: Davidson and His Critics.Neil Campbell - 2003 - Philosophia 31 (1-2):149-157.
  39. Methodological and Ontological Aspects of the Mental Causation Problem.Ausonio Marras - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.
  40. Contributions to a Physicalistic Theory of Action.Steven H. Simon - 2002 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    My project of giving a general physicalistic reduction of action contrasts with Donald Davidson's view that only individual actions can be explained in physicalistic terms. The main reason for his view is that he thinks the problem of internal causal deviance is insoluble. In the first chapter, I reconstruct the theory of action Davidson develops in Essays and Events and extend the theory to solve the deviance problem. The idea of the solution is that action requires "modulated movement," an ongoing (...)
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  41. Physicalism and the Problem of Mental Causation.Robert Buckley - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):155-174.
    In this paper I argue that the problem of mental causation can be solved by distinguishing between classificatory mental properties, like being a pain, and instances of those properties.Antireductive physicalism allows only that the former be irreducibly mental. Consequently, properties like being a pain cannot have causal commerce with the physical without violating causal closure. But instances of painfulness, according to the token identity thesis, are identical with various physical tokens and can therefore have causal efficacy in the physical world. (...)
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  42. Davidson and Nonreductive Materialism: A Tale of Two Cultures.Howard M. Robinson - 2001 - In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press.
  43. How Is Mental Causation a Problem?Xiangdong Xu - 2001 - Philosophical Inquiry 23 (1-2):87-104.
  44. Norms and Nature: Resituating the Mental Causation Debate.Donald Mark Macleod - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
    Non-reductive accounts of the mind appear to run into difficulties when it comes to accommodating our common sense intuitions about the nature of mental causation. Using Donald Davidson's response to his critics' charge of epiphenomenalism as my starting point, I argue that many non-reductive positions are still grounded on residual naturalistic presuppositions, and that our recognizing that such presuppositions are in fact groundless constitutes a first step towards the development of a sustainable non-reductive account of mental causation. I then make (...)
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  45. Questions and Theses Concerning (Mental) Events and Causation.Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer - 2000 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 76:195-218.
  46. Davidson on Causal Relevance.Brian Jonathan Garrett - 1999 - Ratio 12 (1):14-33.
    Davidson argues that mental properties are causally relevant properties. I argue that Davidson cannot appeal to ceteris paribus causal laws to ensure that these properties are causally relevant, if he wishes to retain his argument for anomalous monism. Second, I argue that the appeal to supervenience cannot, by itself, give us an account of the causal relevancy of mental properties. I argue that, while mental properties may indeed 'make a difference' to the causally efficacious properties of events, this is not (...)
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  47. Is Anomalous Monism Inconsistent After All?G. C. Goddu - 1999 - Philosophia 27 (3-4):509-519.
  48. Davidson and Kim on Psychophysical Laws.Noa Latham - 1999 - Synthese 118 (2):121-143.
    Nearly 30 years have passed since Donald Davidson first presented his ar- gument against the possibility of psychophysical laws in “Mental Events”. The argument applies to intentional rather than phenomenal properties, so whenever I refer to mental properties and to psychophysical laws it should be understood that I mean intentional properties and laws relating them to physical properties. No consensus has emerged over what the argument actually is, and the subsequent versions of it presented by Davidson show significant differences. But (...)
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  49. Davidson on Intentional Causation.Ausonio Marras - 1999 - In Denis Fisette (ed.), Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution. Springer. pp. 273--285.
  50. Anomalous Monism and Epiphenomenalism.Rex Welshon - 1999 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1):103-120.
    I argue that, on plausible assumptions, anomalous entails monism epiphenomenalism of the mental. The plausible assumptions are (1) events are particulars; (2) causal relations are extensional; (3) mental properties are epiphrastic. A principle defender of anomalous monism, Donald Davidson, acknowledges that anomalous monism is committed to (1) and (2). I argue that it is committed to (3) as well. Given (1), (2), and (3), epiphenomenalism of the mental falls out immediately. Three attempts to salvage anomalous monism from epiphenomenalism of the (...)
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