Mental Causation

Edited by Sven Walter (Universität Osnabrück)
Assistant editor: Zili Dong (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. The Timing Problem for Dualist Accounts of Mental Causation.Ben White - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Setting aside all exclusion-style worries about the redundancy of postulating additional, non-physical mental causes for effects that can already be explained in purely physical terms, dualists who treat mental properties as supervening on physical properties still face a further problem: in cases of mental-to-mental causation, they cannot avoid positing an implausibly coincidental coordination in the timing of the distinct causal processes terminating, respectively, in the mental effect and its physical base. I argue that this problem arises regardless of whether one (...)
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  2. Interactionist Zombies.Jake Khawaja - 2022 - Synthese 200.
    One of the most popular arguments in favor of dualism is the zombie-conceivability argument. It is often argued that the possibility of zombies would entail that mental properties are epiphenomenal. This paper attempts to defuse the argument, offering a model of dualist mental causation which can serve as a basis for a modified, interactionist-friendly zombie argument.
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  3. Zeno Goes to Copenhagen: A Dilemma for Measurement-Collapse Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.David J. Chalmers & Kelvin J. McQueen - forthcoming - In M. C. Kafatos, D. Banerji & D. C. Struppa (eds.), Quantum and Consciousness Revisited. DK Publisher.
    A familiar interpretation of quantum mechanics (one of a number of views sometimes labeled the "Copenhagen interpretation'"), takes its empirical apparatus at face value, holding that the quantum wave function evolves by the Schrödinger equation except on certain occasions of measurement, when it collapses into a new state according to the Born rule. This interpretation is widely rejected, primarily because it faces the measurement problem: "measurement" is too imprecise for use in a fundamental physical theory. We argue that this is (...)
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  4. Man-Made Systems vs. Mind-Made Systems.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Mind does not operate using sequence (also known, to ‘man,’ as ‘time’). Think: philosophical, and physical, fusion.
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  5. Do Qualia Exist Necessarily? v. 2.0.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Why is there something rather than nothing? I don’t know. But ‘nothing’ may not be the correct default state. It may be that the existence of possibilities requires fewer (weaker) assumptions. In this case, arguably, we should start with the existence of possibilities and not ‘nothing’. In this case, there exists the possibility of (for example) red qualia. But the possible existence of a red quale does not delineate what it is the possibility of if the possibility contains only a (...)
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  6. The psycho-physical laws of intentionality.J. T. Whyte - 1990 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (3):295 – 304.
    Abstract Intentional mental states have causes and effects. Davidson has shown that this fact alone does not entail the existence of psycho?physical laws, but his anomalism makes the connection between the content and causation of intentional states utterly mysterious. By defining intentional states in terms of their causes and effects, functionalism promises to explain this connection. If intentional states have their causes and effects in virtue of their contents, then there must be intrinsic states (of the people who have them) (...)
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  7. Weakness of will and divisions of the mind.Edmund Henden - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):199–213.
    Some authors have argued that, in order to give an account of weakness of the will, we must assume that the mind is divisible into parts. This claim is often referred to as the partitioning claim. There appear to be two main arguments for this claim. While the first is conceptual and claims that the notion of divisibility is entailed by the notion of non-rational mental causation (which is held to be a necessary condition of weakness of the will), the (...)
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  8. Why psychologists tend to overlook certain "obvious" facts.Gustav Ichheiser - 1943 - Philosophy of Science 10 (3):204-207.
    Psychological research and theory has been in the past, and is at present, vitiated by three groups of presuppositions and tendencies. Firstly, by a rigid ideal of preciseness, which produces in the mind of psychologists a biased predilection for selecting and emphasizing those facts which lend themselves best to a precise investigation, and for neglecting those facts with which this is not the case. Secondly, by certain psychological presuppositions rooted in the ideological background of the society to which the psychologist (...)
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  9. Causation and selectivity.Herbert J. Phillips - 1942 - Philosophy of Science 9 (2):139-145.
    In this paper certain basic assumptions about causation will be made explicit and then an attempt will be made to show, on the basis of those assumptions, that causation must be supplemented by an extra-causal operation of a selective nature. It is hoped that our assumptions will have in their own right a certain general acceptability, but since assumptions or “postulate sets”, whether antecedently acceptable or not are usually chosen for the purpose of proving something already deemed desirable, a word (...)
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  10. Mind in a physical world? [REVIEW]Marcelo Sabatés - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):663–670.
    Since the late 1980’s Kim has presented some major reasons to abandon SC. In MIAPW at least four of these reasons are offered: under SC we lose mental causation, mental realism and psychological explanations. Moreover, supervenience cannot do the job as the cementing relation in SC.
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  11. The situation of causality.Glenn Shafer - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (4):543-563.
    Causality in the abstract is a grand theme. We take it up when we want to penetrate to the bottom of things to understand general laws that govern the working at the world of the deepest and most detailed level.In this essay, I argue for a more situated understanding of causality. To counter our desire for ever greater generality, I suggest that causal relations, even those that hold only on average, require context. To counter our desire for ever greater detail, (...)
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  12. La relatividad lingüística en Los tiempos Del mentalés.Agustín Vicente & Femando Martínez Manrique - 2003 - Theoria 18 (1):87-106.
    En este artículo reevaluamos la tesis de la relatividad lingüística tomando corno referencia la vision de la mente que Fodor ha venido ofreciendo. Partiendo de su argumento clásico a favor del lenguaje del pensamiento, veremos como el desarrollo de su tesis de la modularidad y de su mas reciente teoria psicosemántica (el atomismo informacional), permiten compatibilizar su posición con, al menos, una variedad de relatividad, la relatividad léxica. Así mismo, examinaremos su ultimo argumento en favor de la prioridad explicativa del (...)
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  13. Guises and their existence.Alberto Voltolini - 1996 - Axiomathes 7 (3):419-434.
    According to H-N. Castañeda, a guise - the very thin individual which lies at the bottom of the ontological furniture of the world - is indifferent to existence in a Meinongian way, in the sense that it remains the same whether it exists or not. Moreover, its existence does not alter its intentional character, as it is the very same individual which is thought of regardless of its being real or not1. In what follows, I will attempt to show that (...)
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Anomalous Monism and Mental Causation
  1. Trope Mental Causation: Still Not Qua Mental.Wenjun Zhang - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    A popular solution to the causal exclusion problem in the non-reductive physicalist camp is the trope identity solution. But this solution is haunted by the “quausation problem” which charges that the trope only confers causal powers qua physical, not qua mental. Although proponents of the trope solution have responded to the problem by denying the existence of properties of tropes, I do not find their reply satisfactory. Rather, I believe they have missed the core presupposition behind the quausation problem. I (...)
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  2. L'Explication ordinaire des actions humaines.Rémi Clot-Goudard - 2015 - 93100 Montreuil, France: Ithaque.
    En quoi consiste l’explication d’une action ? La question, fondamentale pour toute réflexion méthodologique sur les sciences de l’homme, renvoie d’abord à une pratique commune. Dans nos rapports à autrui, il arrive que la compréhension fasse défaut. C’est alors que surgit le besoin d’explication, afin de comprendre la conduite d’autrui ou encore éclairer les autres sur ce que nous faisons… Qu’est-ce qu’une action intentionnelle ? Les pensées d’un agent causent-elles son comportement ? Comment caractériser le savoir qu’un agent possède de (...)
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  3. Monismo. Anómalo?: Donald Davidson e o problema da causalidade mental.Diana Couto - 2017 - Kinesis 20 (9):61-86.
  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. 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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  6. Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2020 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge 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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  7. A máquina semântica de Freud: do mecanismo à intencionalidade.Claudia Passos-Ferreira - 2011 - São Paulo: Annablume.
    O problema da causa mental é uma das questões filosóficas mais fascinantes na obra de Freud. A releitura neo-pragmática que Cláudia Passos-Ferreira faz sobre o tema se insere no interior de profícuos debates no campo da Psicanálise, Filosofia da Psicanálise e da Filosofia da Mente que têm contribuído para a inovação do pensamento nas teorizações psicanalíticas. Em A maquina semântica de Freud, Cláudia aborda a teoria causal do mental de Freud e seu uso na explicação do conflito psíquico. Diante dos (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Mental Causation.Rebekah L. H. Rice - forthcoming - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
  10. Davidson's Identity Crisis.Daniel D. Hum - 1998 - Dialectica 52 (1):45-61.
    Professor Davidson's anomalous monism has been subject to the criticism that, despite advertisements to the contrary, if it were true mental properties would be epiphenomenal. To this Davidson has replied that his critics have misunderstood his views concerning the extensional nature of causal relations and the intensional character of causal explanations. I call this his ‘extension reply’. This paper argues that there are two ways to read Davidson's ‘extension reply’; one weaker and one stronger. But the dilemma is that: the (...)
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  11. 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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  12. Mental Causation.John Heil & Alfred Mele (eds.) - 1993 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    Common sense and philosophical tradition agree that mind makes a difference. What we do depends not only on how our bodies are put together, but also on what we think. Explaining how mind can make a difference has proved challenging, however. Some have urged that the project faces an insurmountable dilemma: either we concede that mentalistic explanations of behavior have only a pragmatic standing or we abandon our conception of the physical domain as causally autonomous. Although each option has its (...)
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  13. Bad news for anomalous monism?Peter Smith - 1982 - Analysis 42 (4):220-224.
  14. 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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  15. Holisme, référence et irréductibilité du mental.Martin Montminy - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (3):419-437.
    ABSTRACTI examine in detail the argument vaguely suggested by Davidson to the effect that holism entails the irreducibility of the mental. I defend this argument against two objections often made against arguments that attempt to derive metaphysical theses from premises that concern our ordinary criteria for applying terms. I appeal to two-dimensional semantics to explain the links between these criteria and issues about reference and reduction. I show how the irreducibility of the mental follows from the holistic and flexible character (...)
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  16. Essays on Actions and Events: Philosophical Essays Volume 1.Donald Davidson - 1970 - Clarendon Press.
  17. What’s Wrong with Anomalous Monism?Norman Melchert - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):265.
  18. Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
    What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent's reason for doing what he did? We may call such explanations rationalizations, and say that the reason rationalizes the action. In this paper I want to defend the ancient - and common-sense - position that rationalization is a species of ordinary causal explanation. The defense no doubt requires some redeployment, but not more or less complete abandonment of the position, as (...)
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  19. Mental States, Natural Kinds and Psychophysical Laws.Colin McGinn & James Hopkins - 1978 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 52 (1):195-236.
  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. Norms and Laws in a Natural World: A Compatibilist Account of Mental Causation.Julie Hyon Ju Yoo - 1998 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    The classic question about mind-body interaction is now construed as a question about the causal relevance of mental properties. Beyond a materialist account of how reasons can be causes simpliciter, what we seek is a demonstration of how reasons can be causes in virtue of their contentful and rational features. This dissertation attempts to furnish such a demonstration. ;The demonstration falls into two parts: an account of how intentional properties are causally relevant in a metaphysically possible world and a separate (...)
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  25. Causation and Interpretation: Some Questions in the Philosophy of Mind.T. W. Child - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
    Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;I deal with two themes: the idea that an account of thought should be given by giving an account of the ascription of thoughts by a radical interpreter--which I call interpretationism; and the idea that psychological concepts like action and perception are essentially causal. It has often been thought that these two themes conflict; or at least, that if they can co-exist, then they must be kept separate, and (...)
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  26. Anomalous Monism and the Causal Efficacy of the Mental.Amy Scammell - 1993 - Dissertation, Brown University
    Donald Davidson's theory of the relationship between the mental and physical, anomalous monism, , has recently come under attack by a number of philosophers who have argued that the theory fails to allow adequate causal power to the mental. The mental, they say, has causal power only in virtue of its relationship to the physical; true causal power remains only with the physical properties of things on AM. I argue, contrary to these critics, that AM does allow adequate causal power (...)
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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. Anomalous Monism and Epiphenomenalism: The Causal Responsibility of Mental Events.Nancy Anne Slonneger - 1993 - Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    Donald Davidson is known for developing the token-token identity theory of the relation between the mental and the physical called "anomalous monism". According to this view, although each mental event is identical with some physical event, there are no strict causal laws relating the mental with the physical . There are three principles which are central to anomalous monism: At least some mental events causally interact with physical events; Events related as cause and effect fall under strict laws; and There (...)
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  30. 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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  31. Actions, Reasons and Mental Causes.Pascal Engel - unknown
    One of the main difficulties with contemporary materialism is the risk of epiphenomenalism: if mental properties systematically depend on physical properties, how can they have causal efficiency? Davidson's anomalous monism' only solves this problem through a "feeble" understanding of the individuation of events and with relative imprecision as to the pertinence of causal explanations formulated in psychological terms. Nor do other conceptions of the individuation of events and the causal power of mental states, as that of Kim and of Jackson (...)
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  32. Mental Causes and the Explanation of Action.C. Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (143):145-158.
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  33. 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.
  34. The Epiphenomenalism Charge as an External Objection to Anomalous Monism.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2011 - Filozofia Nauki 19 (2):135.
  35. Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Humanities Press.
  36. Davidson on Intentional Causation.Ausonio Marras - 1999 - In Denis Fisette (ed.), Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution. Springer. pp. 273--285.
  37. 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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