About this topic
Summary The claim that physics is causally closed is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Completeness of Physics’ (e.g. Papineau 1991). For physics to be causally closed, all physical events (facts, etc.) must be due to physical causes. This claim is a crucial premise in the ‘causal’ or ‘no overdetermination argument’ for physicalism. Given this premise, anything else that has physical effects – for example mental events – must, it is then argued, supervene on, or reduce to, or be identical with (etc.) something physical unless we are prepared to accept systematic over-determination. Dualistic interactionists tend to deny the completeness of physics (some physical events have fundamentally mental causes). According to some versions of emergence, or downward causation, there are physical events that are at least partly due to non-physical causes (see, e.g. Gillett 2002 and Wilson 2015). If physics is not causally closed, then physicalism in any form is probably false.
Key works

A useful historical account of the rise of the view that physics is complete is Papineau 2000. For an extended treatment of the topic see Spurrett 1999. Among recent papers directly focused on the issue, see Lowe 2000, Montero 2003, Vicente 2006, Corry 2013, Garcia 2014, and Tiehen 2015.

Introductions

Relevant encyclopedia articles include Robb & Heil 2008 (especially section 2.3) and Stoljar 2015 (especially section 16).

Related categories

169 found
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1 — 50 / 169
  1. Control of the Phase of the Quantum Wave Function May Salvage Interactionist Dualism.Tal Hendel - manuscript
    Interactionist dualism is often rejected based on the claim that the physical world is causally closed. Another claim against interactionist dualism is that, were it to hold, it would violate energy/momentum conservation or the second law of thermodynamics. Here I show that the phase of the quantum wave function may provide a loophole in the causal closure of the world through which the mind can affect behavior without violating any physical law.
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  2. Exclusion Excluded.Brad Weslake -
    I argue that an independently attractive account of causation and causal explanation provides a principled resolution of the exclusion problem.
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  3. Physicalism, Closure, and the Structure of Causal Arguments for Physicalism: A Naturalistic Formulation of the Physical.Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-16.
    Physicalism is the idea that everything either is physical or is nothing over and above the physical. For this formulation of physicalism to have determinate content, it should be identified what the “physical” refers to; i.e. the body problem. Some other closely related theses, especially the ones employed in the causal arguments for different versions of physicalism, and more especially the causal closure thesis, are also subject to the body problem. In this paper, I do two things. First, I explore (...)
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  4. Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
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  5. Mental Causation.Rebekah L. H. Rice - forthcoming - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
  6. Could Mental Causation Be Invisible?David Robb - forthcoming - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), The Metaphysics of E.J. Lowe. Oxford University Press.
    E.J. Lowe has recently proposed a model of mental causation on which mental events are emergent, thus exerting a novel, downward causal influence on physical events. Yet on Lowe's model, mental causation is at the same time empirically undetectable, and in this sense is "invisible". Lowe's model is ingenious, but I don't think emergentists should welcome it, for it seems to me that a primary virtue of emergentism is its bold empirical prediction about the long-term results of human physiology. Here (...)
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  7. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  8. Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion.Brad Weslake - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press.
    Consider the following causal exclusion principle: For all distinct properties F and F* such that F* supervenes on F, F and F* do not both cause a property G. Peter Menzies and Christian List have proven that it follows from a natural conception of causation as difference-making that this exclusion principle is not generally true. Rather, it turns out that whether the principle is true is a contingent matter. In addition, they have shown that in a wide range of empirically (...)
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  9. Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2021 - Synthese 198 (2):1381-1396.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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  10. The Materialism of Roy Wood Sellars.Balázs Gimes - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):166-182.
  11. The Fundamentality of Physics: Completeness or Maximality.Alyssa Ney - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 12.
    There is a standard way of interpreting physicalism. This is as a completeness thesis of some kind. Completeness physicalists believe there is or in principle could be some future physics that provides a complete explanatory or ontological basis for our universe. And this provides a sense in which physics is special among the sciences, the sense in which it is fundamental. This paper contrasts this standard completeness physicalism with what is a more plausible maximality physicalism. Maximality physicalists believe physics is (...)
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  12. How the Non-Physical Influences Physics and Physiology: A Proposal.Ian J. Thompson - 2021 - Dualism Review 3:1-13.
    The causal closure of the physical world is assumed everywhere in physics but has little empirical support within living organisms. For the spiritual to have effects in nature, and make a difference there, the laws of physical nature would have to be modified or extended. I propose that the renormalized parameters of quantum field theory (masses and charges) are available to be varied locally in order to achieve ends in nature. This is not adding extra forces to nature but rescaling (...)
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  13. Physicalisme et monisme russellien.Victor Tremblay-Baillargeon - 2021 - Ithaque 28:119-137.
    Dans cet article, je propose de défendre le monisme russellien, une théorie posant l’existence de quiddités phénoménologiques au fondement de la réalité. Je propose en particulier de montrer que le monisme russellien échappe aux objections qui en font une version inadéquate du physicalisme. Pour ce faire, j’identifie les trois raisons qui motivent le physicalisme, c’est-à-dire la parcimonie, le naturalisme et l’argument de la clôture causale, et j’argumente qu’il faut considérer que le monisme russellien satisfait ces trois motivations. Ainsi, si j’ai (...)
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  14. Causal Exclusion Without Causal Sufficiency.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Synthese 198:10341-10353.
    Some non-reductionists claim that so-called ‘exclusion arguments’ against their position rely on a notion of causal sufficiency that is particularly problematic. I argue that such concerns about the role of causal sufficiency in exclusion arguments are relatively superficial since exclusionists can address them by reformulating exclusion arguments in terms of physical sufficiency. The resulting exclusion arguments still face familiar problems, but these are not related to the choice between causal sufficiency and physical sufficiency. The upshot is that objections to the (...)
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  15. Dualism and Exclusion.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):543-552.
    Many philosophers argue that exclusion arguments cannot exclude non-reductionist physicalist mental properties from being causes without excluding properties that are patently causal as well. List and Stoljar (2017) recently argued that a similar response to exclusion arguments is also available to dualists, thereby challenging the predominant view that exclusion arguments undermine dualist theories of mind. In particular, List and Stoljar maintain that exclusion arguments against dualism require a premise that states that, if a property is metaphysically distinct from the sufficient (...)
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  16. A Mechanism That Realizes Strong Emergence.J. H. van Hateren - 2021 - Synthese 199:12463-12483.
    The causal efficacy of a material system is usually thought to be produced by the law-like actions and interactions of its constituents. Here, a specific system is constructed and explained that produces a cause that cannot be understood in this way, but instead has novel and autonomous efficacy. The construction establishes a proof-of-feasibility of strong emergence. The system works by utilizing randomness in a targeted and cyclical way, and by relying on sustained evolution by natural selection. It is not vulnerable (...)
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  17. Does Idealism Solve the Problem of Consciousness?Ralph Stefan Weir - 2021 - In Joshua Farris & Benedikt Paul Göcke (eds.), Routledge Handbook for Idealism and Immaterialism.
    The problem of consciousness, as I present it here, is the problem of reconciling our understanding of consciousness with (i) the evidence for phenomenal transparency and (ii) the evidence that the physical world is causally closed. We might hope that idealism will do this. For idealism is just as hospitable to phenomenal transparency as dualism. And there is a sense in which idealism posits no physical world to be causally closed in the first place. But I argue that idealism has (...)
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  18. Mental Causation as Joint Causation.Chiwook Won - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4917-4937.
    This paper explores and defends the idea that mental properties and their physical bases jointly cause their physical effects. The paper evaluates the view as an emergentist response to the exclusion problem, comparing it with a competing nonreductive physicalist solution, the compatibilist solution, and argues that the joint causation view is more defensible than commonly supposed. Specifically, the paper distinguishes two theses of closure, Strong Closure and Weak Closure, two causal exclusion problems, the overdetermination problem and the supervenience problem, and (...)
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  19. Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1093-1102.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then any judgment (...)
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  20. Causal closure of the physical, mental causation, and physics.Dejan R. Dimitrijević - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-22.
    The argument from causal closure of the physical is usually considered the most powerful argument in favor of the ontological doctrine of physicalism. Many authors, most notably Papineau, assume that CCP implies that physicalism is supported by physics. I demonstrate, however, that physical science has no bias in the ontological debate between proponents of physicalism and dualism. I show that the arguments offered for CCP are effective only against the accounts of mental causation based on the action of the mental (...)
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  21. Causal Closure of the Physical, Mental Causation, and Physics.Dejan R. Dimitrijević - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-22.
    The argument from causal closure of the physical is usually considered the most powerful argument in favor of the ontological doctrine of physicalism. Many authors, most notably Papineau, assume that CCP implies that physicalism is supported by physics. I demonstrate, however, that physical science has no bias in the ontological debate between proponents of physicalism and dualism. I show that the arguments offered for CCP are effective only against the accounts of mental causation based on the action of the mental (...)
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  22. Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that illuminates the (...)
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  23. The Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.Matthew Owen - 2020 - Entropy 22 (8).
    Mental causation is vitally important to the integrated information theory (IIT), which says consciousness exists since it is causally efficacious. While it might not be directly apparent, metaphysical commitments have consequential entailments concerning the causal efficacy of consciousness. Commitments regarding the ontology of consciousness and the nature of causation determine which problem(s) a view of consciousness faces with respect to mental causation. Analysis of mental causation in contemporary philosophy of mind has brought several problems to the fore: the alleged lack (...)
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  24. An Exclusion Problem for Epiphenomenalist Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):247-256.
    The chief motivation for epiphenomenalist dualism is its promise to solve dualism’s causal exclusion problem without inducing causal overdetermination or violations of the causal closure of the physical. This paper argues that epiphenomenalist dualism is itself susceptible to an exclusion problem. The problem exploits symmetries of determination and influence generated by a wide class of physical theories. Further, I argue that there is an interference effect between solving epiphenomenalist dualism's exclusion problem and using epiphenomenalist dualism as a solution to the (...)
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  25. Two Solutions to the Neural Discernment Problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.
    Interactionists hold that minds are non-physical objects that interact with brains. The neural discernment problem for interactionism is that of explaining how non-physical minds produce behavior and cognition by exercising different causal powers over physiologically similar neurons. This paper sharpens the neural discernment problem and proposes two interactionist models of mind-brain interaction that solve it. One model avoids overdetermination while the other respects the causal closure of the physical domain.
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  26. Interactionism for the discerning mind?Derek Shiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):931-946.
    Jaegwon Kim has developed an argument that interactionist dualists cannot account for the causal relations between minds and brains. This paper develops a closely related argument that focuses instead on the causal relations between minds and neurons. While there are several promising responses to Kim’s argument, their plausibility relies on a relatively simple understanding of mind–brain relations. Once we shift our focus to neurons, these responses lose their appeal. The problem is that even if mind–brain causal pairing can be explained (...)
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  27. Neural Synchrony and the Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.David Yates - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1057-1072.
    The purpose of this paper is to address a well-known dilemma for physicalism. If mental properties are type identical to physical properties, then their causal efficacy is secure, but at the cost of ruling out mentality in creatures very different to ourselves. On the other hand, if mental properties are multiply realizable, then all kinds of creatures can instantiate them, but then they seem to be causally redundant. The causal exclusion problem depends on the widely held principle that realized properties (...)
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  28. Taking Emergentism Seriously.Lei Zhong - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):31-46.
    The Exclusion Argument has afflicted non-reductionists for decades. In this article, I attempt to show that emergentism—the view that mental entities can downwardly cause physical entities in a non-overdetermining way—is the most plausible approach to solving the exclusion problem. The emergentist approach is largely absent in contemporary philosophy of mind, because emergentism rejects the Causal Closure of Physics, a doctrine embraced by almost all physicalists. This article, however, challenges the consensus on causal closure and defends a physicalist version of emergentism. (...)
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  29. 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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  30. How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection From Energy Conservation.Alin C. Cucu & J. Brian Pitts - 2019 - Mind and Matter 17 (1):95-121.
    The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a se- rious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or sub- stance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe’s varying constants proposal, show- ing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation (...)
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  31. Scientific Ontology.Johan Gamper - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):99-102.
    The modal properties of the principle of the causal closure of the physical have traditionally been said to prevent anything outside the physical world from affecting the physical universe and vice versa. This idea has been shown to be relative to the definition of the principle. A traditional definition prevents the one universe from affecting any other universe, but with a modified definition, e.g., the causal closure of the physical can be consistent with the possibility of one universe affecting the (...)
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  32. No Microphysical Causation? No Problem: Selective Causal Skepticism and the Structure of Completeness-Based Arguments for Physicalism.Matthew Haug - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1187-1208.
    A number of philosophers have argued that causation is not an objective feature of the microphysical world but rather is a perspectival phenomenon that holds only between “coarse-grained” entities such as those that figure in the special sciences. This view seems to pose a problem for arguments for physicalism that rely on the alleged causal completeness of physics. In this paper, I address this problem by arguing that the completeness of physics has two components, only one of which is causal. (...)
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  33. The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  34. Problems with the "Problems" with Psychophysical Causation.Noah McKay - 2019 - Stance 12 (1):33-43.
    In this essay, I defend a mind-body dualism, according to which human minds are immaterial substances that exercise non-redundant causal powers over bodies, against the notorious problem of psychophysical causation. I explicate and reply to three formulations of the problem: (i) the claim that, on dualism, psychophysical causation is inconsistent with physical causal closure, (ii) the claim that psychophysical causation on the dualist view is intolerably mysterious, and (iii) Jaegwon Kim’s claim that dualism fails to account for causal pairings. Ultimately, (...)
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  35. Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Wiley: Dialectica 73 (4):479-505.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist model, according to which the physical cause is a sufficient cause of (...)
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  36. Phenomenal Knowledge Why: The Explanatory Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge University Press.
    Phenomenal knowledge is knowledge of what it is like to be in conscious states, such as seeing red or being in pain. According to the knowledge argument (Jackson 1982, 1986), phenomenal knowledge is knowledge that, i.e., knowledge of phenomenal facts. According to the ability hypothesis (Nemirow 1979; Lewis 1983), phenomenal knowledge is mere practical knowledge how, i.e., the mere possession of abilities. However, some phenomenal knowledge also seems to be knowledge why, i.e., knowledge of explanatory facts. For example, someone who (...)
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  37. Quantum Theory and the Place of Mind in the Causal Order of Things.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Publishing Company. pp. 163-171.
    The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal antifundamentalism: (...)
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  38. Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
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  39. The Principle of the Causal Openness of the Physical.Daniel Von Wachter - 2019 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 26 (1):40-61.
    The argument from causal closure for physicalism requires the principle that a physical event can only occur through being necessitated by antecedent physical events. This article proposes a view of the causal structure of the world that claims not only that an event need not be necessitated by antecedent events, but that an event cannot be necessitated by antecedent events. All events are open to counteraction. In order to spell out various kinds of counteraction I introduce the idea of ‘directedness.’.
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  40. 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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  41. Introduction to the Special Theme on Philosophy and Science of Mind.Daniel Lim - 2018 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 13 (3):297-299.
  42. Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem.Dwayne Moore - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem The causal exclusion problem is an objection to nonreductive physicalist models of mental causation. Mental causation occurs when behavioural effects have mental causes: Jennie eats a peach because she wants one; Marvin goes to Harvard because he chose to, etc. Nonreductive physicalists typically supplement adherence to mental causation with … Continue reading Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem →.
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  43. Mental Causation and Neuroscience: The Semantic Pruning Model.José Manuel Muñoz - 2018 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 33 (3):379-399.
    In this paper I propose a hypothetical model of mental causation that I call semantic pruning and which could be defined as the causal influence of contents and meanings on the spatial configuration of the network of synapses of an individual. I will be guided by two central principles: 1) the causal influence of the mental occurs by virtue of external semantic constraints and consists in the selective activation of certain physical powers, 2) when the selective activation is continual, it (...)
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  44. Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
    Jaegwon Kim’s views on mental causation and the exclusion argument are evaluated systematically. Particular attention is paid to different theories of causation. It is argued that the exclusion argument and its premises do not cohere well with any systematic view of causation.
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  45. How Influx Into the Natural Shows Itself in Physics: A Hypothesis.Ian J. Thompson - 2018 - New Philosophy 121 (1-4):284-294.
    In order to link fine-tuning in physics with spiritual influx, I propose that the highest degree in physics is where ‘ends’ are received in physics. By ends, I refer to what it is that determines the means or causes in physics, and what it is that manages or influences to basis parameters (masses and charge values) of the quantum fields. This is fine-tuning, in the sense that it occurs not just for the whole universe (in the Big Bang, for example), (...)
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  46. On a Loophole in Causal Closure.Johan Gamper - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):631-636.
    Standard definitions of causal closure focus on where the causes in question are. In this paper, the focus is changed to where they are not. Causal closure is linked to the principle that no cause of another universe causes an event in a particular universe. This view permits the one universe to be affected by the other via an interface. An interface between universes can be seen as a domain that violates the suggested account of causal closure, suggesting a view (...)
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  47. My Brain Made Me Do It: The Exclusion Argument Against Free Will, and What’s Wrong with It.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2017 - In H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock & H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We offer a critical assessment of the “exclusion argument” against free will, which may be summarized by the slogan: “My brain made me do it, therefore I couldn't have been free”. While the exclusion argument has received much attention in debates about mental causation (“could my mental states ever cause my actions?”), it is seldom discussed in relation to free will. However, the argument informally underlies many neuroscientific discussions of free will, especially the claim that advances in neuroscience seriously challenge (...)
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  48. Does the Exclusion Argument Put Any Pressure on Dualism?Christian List & Daniel Stoljar - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):96-108.
    The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism, if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ that is employed to distinguish between mental and physical properties: if ‘distinctness’ is understood in one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument rests can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood in (...)
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  49. Downward Causation: An Opinionated Introduction.Michele Paolini Paoletti & Francesco Orilia - 2017 - In Michele Paolini Paoletti & Francesco Orilia (eds.), Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-21.
    Downward causation is a widespread and problematic phenomenon. It is typically defined as the causation of lower-level effects by higher-level entities. Downward causation is widespread, as there are many examples of it across different sciences: a cell constraints what happens to its own constituents; a body regulates its own processes; two atoms, when they are appropriately related, make it the case that their own electrons are distributed in certain ways. However, downward causation is also problematic. Roughly, it seems to be (...)
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  50. Is There Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2017 - In E. Haven & A. Khrennikov (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Quantum Models in Social Science: Applications and Grand Challenges. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 293-317.
    Western philosophy and science have a strongly dualistic tradition regarding the mental and physical aspects of reality, which makes it difficult to understand their possible causal relations. In recent debates in cognitive neuroscience it has been common to claim on the basis of neural experiments that conscious experiences are causally inefficacious. At the same time there is much evidence that consciousness does play an important role in guiding behavior. The author explores whether a new way of understanding the causal role (...)
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